Via the Hill:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is introducing a bill to allow assets seized from drug lords, like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to fund President Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cruz’s bill, the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, also known as the “El Chapo Act,” is a reference to the Mexican drug kingpin from the Sinaloa cartel.
The U.S. government is seeking $14 billion from the drug lord as part of its prosecution of Guzman.
“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons and individuals across our southern border,” Cruz said Tuesday, according to Axios.
I have to say, this seems like a rather clever solution. Using cash seized by drug lords to beef up border security looks like good policy and good politics.
But I suspect Cruz’s proposal is unlikely to draw much new support, and here’s why: The cost of the wall was never really the problem. The issue is that people don’t like the symbolism of walls (even though more walls are currently being constructed than at any time in modern history).
Walls, as we’ve already noted, strike “at the heart of our modern, cultural orthodoxies.” Polite people don’t advocate walls, at least not in polite company—even if they are effective.
Nearly 700 miles of fence already exists on the U.S.-Mexico border, but the idea of erecting an actual wall troubles many Americans (and, thus, many politicians).
Is there a solution to this?
I suspect that if President Trump continues to cave on his promise to build a big, beautiful wall, but receives adequate funding to create double-layer fencing and beef up security in key trouble spots, most border hawks will be appeased.