Today, President Trump announced his intentions to officially designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) following calls from Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) and other members of the Texas delegation to do so.
President Trump made the announcement in an interview with Bill O’Reilly earlier today saying, “Absolutely they will be designated… I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have go through a process, and we are well into that process.”
After proposing legislation last spring to designate Mexican cartels as FTOs, Rep. Roy garnered support from fellow Texas representatives Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), John Carter (R-TX-31), Lance Gooden (R-TX-5), and Roger Williams (R-TX-25) in addition to Reps. Mark Green (R-TN) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA). This came in the wake of recent attacks carried out by cartel members that resulted in the death of nine Americans in the border state of Sonora, less than 100 miles from the Arizona border.
“We’re losing 100,000 people a year to what’s happening and what’s coming through on (sic) Mexico,” President Trump said.
After President Trump said in February he was considering labeling the organized crime units as FTOs, Congressman Roy said in an interview earlier this month that his proposed bill is the next step in making that designation a reality.
Advocating for his proposed legislation, Roy also said it would be beneficial for both the U.S. and Mexico to coordinate their efforts, but to preserve national security, the U.S. should act in its own interest regardless of how the Mexican government is handling threats posed by cartels.
Echoing these statements, President Trump said when announcing his intentions to officially designate Mexican cartels as FTOs that he offered to provide additional border security measures and assistance to the President of Mexico, Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador, but the foreign leader declined.
Specific details about how and when the designation will be given have not yet been announced.
The designation of the cartels as FTOs will effectively authorize the federal government to cut off their funding from external sources, prevent members and affiliates from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and allow the Department of Treasury to freeze their assets.
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Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.