One Republican lawmaker believes he has the solution to building President Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that will keep money in the pockets of the Mexican government and the American taxpayer – make the drug cartels (indirectly) pick up the tab.
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who supports the idea of building a wall along the southern border, told the Washington Examiner earlier this week that he would like the wall’s construction to be funded using dirty cartel money collected from the civil asset forfeiture program.
“This is a way to fulfill the president’s desire to have Mexico pay for the wall,” Sensenbrenner said. “Having the money seized from Mexican drug cartels would mean that the bad Mexicans end up paying for the wall, and the bad Mexicans have been terrorizing the good Mexicans with crimes and kidnappings and murders within Mexico itself.”
The proposed legislation would force U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a man who says he wants to combat drug cartels, to investigate just how much money the government has in its back pocket from cash seizures. Representative Sensenbrenner believes this law enforcement coffer should provide a substantial amount of the money needed to fulfill Trump’s vision.
The DEA “has estimated that the gross receipts of the Mexican drug trade are somewhere between $19–29 billion a year,” he said. "We don’t have to be 100 percent efficient to get the money we need to pay for the wall relatively quickly."
Some of the preliminary estimates for the wall, which is expected to cover a 2,000-mile stretch, showed it could cost as much as $15 billion.
"You’ve got a choice of civil asset forfeiture, increasing the deficit or raising taxes on the American people [for funding the wall],” Sensenbrenner said. “I think that given the choice of three alternatives of how to pay for it, it’s easy to sell mine and not so easy to sell the other two.”
Earlier this week, key Democratic forces warned Republicans against including anything pertaining to Trump’s wall in the federal budget. The party has suggested they would rather cause a government shutdown than hold the American taxpayers responsible for a seemingly worthless wall.
The latest estimate, according to Reuters, shows the wall could cost in upwards of $22 billion.