Editor’s note: First elected in 2018, Congressman Lance Gooden represents Texas’ 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 5th District stretches from Dallas County to Cherokee, Henderson, Kaufmann, Anderson, Van Zandt and Wood Counties. Lance and his wife, Alexa, live in Terrell with their son, Liam.
The security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border is at a tipping point. Border Patrol officials tell us that they don’t have the resources or capacity needed to detain the migrants they apprehend. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, my Democrat colleagues plan to continue willfully ignoring this crisis. It’s on us to apply some outside-the-box thinking and find a solution to this problem, a practice which has been missing from the Washington Swamp for far too long.
Recently found guilty of 10 criminal charges and expecting a life sentence, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman presents an opportunity to address our border problem. His personal, criminal fortune is estimated to be worth $14 billion and was seized by the federal government during his arrest. This would be more than enough funding to build the entire wall.
Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation that would use the seized money to build the wall and solve our immigration crisis. One of my first actions as a Congressman was to sponsor this bill. It’s time we break from the traditional cycle in Washington, where politicians lack the will to solve problems they were sent to fix. The “El Chapo Act” would get us on a path to securing our border by accomplishing the following:
#1- Avoid Wasteful Government Spending
If signed by the President, the bill would reserve approximately $14 billion in illegal assets seized by the federal government for border security enhancements. By using the seized money from drug trafficking to build a physical wall, Americans would benefit from increased security and a renewed confidence in the rule of law.
#2- Build the Wall
I strongly support President Trump’s plan to build a physical wall along the southern border. The construction of a wall would provide real security and allow us to more effectively deploy agents tasked with monitoring the border. The high volume of drug trafficking at the border has been a key factor in the opioid crisis, since drugs are being illegally transmitted into our country. While we need to employ every possible option to combat this epidemic, increased border security would have an enormous impact in stopping the flow of the deadly drugs afflicting our communities.
#3- Secure the Border
This bill would achieve two landmark objectives in our mission to secure the border. First, it requires those who’ve abused the open border for decades to pay for the wall. More importantly, it provides enough funding to ensure the job is done right.