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Brooks Reintroduces EL CHAPO Act: "End Shutdown - Make Mexican Cartel Pay for Wall"

January 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC— Wednesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” or the “EL CHAPO Act,” House companion legislation to Senator Ted Cruz’s Senate bill by the same name. The EL CHAPO Act reserves approximately $14 billion in assets forfeited to the United States Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as other drug lords, for border security funding – to include construction of the U.S.- Mexico border wall. Congressman Brooks sponsored the EL CHAPO Act in the 115th as well.

Original cosponsors of the EL CHAPO Act are: Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12), Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-08), Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Congressman Mark Green (TN-07), Congressman Jody B. Hice (GA-10), Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03), Congressman Steve King (IA-04), Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), Congressman Ralph Norman (SC-05), and Congressman Bill Posey (FL-08).

Congressman Brooks said, “Radical Open Borders Democrats would rather shut down the government than provide taxpayer funding for a border wall that helps prevent thousands of American deaths each year. Fortunately, there are other ways to build a border wall, enhance border security, save American lives, and end the government shutdown that is slowly but sure hurting America’s economy and American citizens. Congress should end the shutdown by passing the EL CHAPO Act that, over time, funds border security and a border wall by using billions of dollars in seized drug and blood money profits from drug cartels and drug lords and reapplying those drug forfeiture monies to border security and construction of a border wall. The EL CHAPO Act kills two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it shifts drug and blood money to border security and a border wall, thus helping to save the lives of thousands of Americans who die each year at the hands of illegal aliens or because of America’s porous southern border. As a bonus, the passage of the EL CHAPO Act ends the battle over the government shutdown.”

Brooks continued, “Walls have worked since the dawn of time. Ancient civilizations employed walls to keep their citizens and property safe from harm. Today, physical barriers and fencing surround America’s most secure locations— the White House, Fort Knox, the federal supermax prison in Colorado; all have high physical barriers around them. Why? Because they work. It is absurd for anyone to argue border walls are ineffective. Take the example of the Yuma, Arizona sector of the border, where border patrol agents have seen a 96 percent reduction in illegal alien apprehensions since a border wall was constructed in 2006.[1] Along the San Diego sector of the border, before a wall was built, 100,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by border patrol a year. Post wall construction, the number of apprehensions dropped to 5,000 a year— a reduction of 95%. The fact is, border walls work.”[2]

Brooks continued, “America desperately needs a border wall. The United States averages a staggering 60,000 illegal border crossings per month.[3] I introduced the EL CHAPO Act in the House to divert approximately $14 billion in funds confiscated by prosecutors from drug lords like El Chapo to building the border wall. Drug lords smuggle deadly drugs across our border that ravage America. Roughly 15,000 Americans die each year from heroin overdoses alone[4] - 90% of all heroin reaches America via our porous southern border (much of it transported by drug cartels and their illegal alien “mules”). We need to be doing everything we can to keep poisonous drugs out of our country and save American lives, and that means building the wall.”[5]

Brooks continued, “America’s porous southern border poses a massive safety risk to American citizens. In FY 2017 and FY 2018, ICE officers arrested approximately 235,000 aliens on various criminal charges or convictions within the interior of the United States – including, on average each year, roughly 50,000 for assault, 15,000 for sex crimes, and 2,000 for homicides.[6][7] In FY 2018, 17,000 adults at the border with existing criminal records were arrested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and border agents. If illegal aliens will break our immigration laws, they will break other laws, too.”

Brooks concluded, “A border wall is a subpart of overall border security. It will not keep out all drugs or every illegal alien, but we owe it to the victims of drug overdoses and illegal alien crime to do absolutely everything in our power to stop illegal aliens and their drugs from coming across our southern border and killing thousands of Americans every year! The EL CHAPO Act funds a large portion of the border wall without using taxpayer dollars and provides an alternative funding mechanism for the border wall. With the EL CHAPO Act we can end the current impasse and resulting government shutdown. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer should listen to the American people and come to the negotiating table so we can secure our border.”




[1] Fox News, 'It works': Yuma's fence, manpower make border nearly impenetrable, May 3, 2016.  

[2] NPR, San Diego Fence Provides Lessons in Border Control, April 6, 2006.  

[3] Customs and Border Protection, CBP Enforcement Statistics FY2018.   

[4] NIH (2018, August). Overdose Drug Deaths.

[5] US Department of State (2018, March). International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.    

[6] Fiscal Year 2017 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report.   

[7] Fiscal Year 2018 ICE Enforcement and  Removal Operations Report,