WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), recently joined the Center for Strategic & International Studies Americas Program podcast “35 West” to discuss his recent visit to Guatemala and Mexico, trade and immigration issues, and the fight against drug trafficking with host Richard Miles.
“We have to first recognize the interrelationship of their problems and our problems,” said Dr. Cassidy. “A lot of the corruption in Latin America is fueled by an incredible amount of drug money that is corrupting officials. And money of which taxes are not being paid, and because taxes are not being paid, the central government is starved of resources with which they could build infrastructure. But if they successfully build that infrastructure, attracting foreign investment, then people who might otherwise emigrate to the United States will stay in their home country and relieve the pressure of illegal immigration. It is a ball of wax.
“So what can the United States do? One thing I’ve been looking at is the fact that drug cartels move anywhere from 60 to 100 billion—billion with a B—dollars of illicit drug trades from the U.S. to south of the border every year,” continued Cassidy. “My gosh. If we could interdict that by a variety of means, you would put a crimp in the financing of the drug trade.”