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In an interview with TMZ released on Thursday, Cruz said El Chapo’s criminal enterprise is worth billions of dollars, which should be used to secure the border.
The comments come after a federal judge in New York sentenced El Chapo to life in prison. He is believed to have smuggled about $12 billion worth of drugs across the U.S. border.
He was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.
Cruz wants the money forfeited by El Chapo – and other drug lords – to be funneled to border security and toward funding the wall.
“I think the next step is to criminally forfeit his entire global criminal enterprise – it’s worth billions – and we should use every penny of that money to build the wall and secure the border,” Cruz said.
Cruz acknowledged that finding and obtaining those assets would be no simple task.
Trump is allegedly on board, Cruz told TMZ. The president has promised Americans that Mexico would pay for the construction of the border wall.
El Chapo was charged with allegedly moving nearly 500 tons of cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border, murder and money laundering, among other things.
He is also known for his legendary, and elaborate, second escape from a Mexican prison in 2015, which featured a mile-long tunnel and a motorcycle track.
Guzman was head of the Sinaloa cartel and is considered by the U.S. government to be one of the most powerful drug lords of all time.
Cruz originally unveiled the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act two years ago – at a time when a debate over funding for the border wall threatened to shut down the government.
Trump has harped on the border wall as an instrumental tool for stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. and poisoning America’s youth.