Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR, introduced the Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act Tuesday to impose sanctions on drug cartels.
He is joined by Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, Josh Hawley, R-MO, and Ben Sasse, R-NE. Representative Mike Gallagher, R-WI, introduced companion legislation in the House as well.
“Criminal organizations and drug cartels that terrorize our communities and wage war at our borders ought to be treated just like terrorist groups in the eyes of the U.S. government. This bill would help stop cartel violence by ensuring these groups-and anyone who helps them-face dire consequences for their actions,” said Cotton in Tuesday’s press release.
If passed, the bill would allow the U.S. government to impose immigration, financial, and criminal penalties on transnational criminal organizations. Moreover, it seeks similar actions as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation would such as keeping cartel members and their immediate families from entering the U.S.
“Mexican cartels wreak havoc on our border and pose a direct threat to our national security. It’s past time we give the federal government every tool it needs to go after these thugs. From crippling sanctions to visa restrictions, this bill equips the administration to ensure these criminal organizations face severe consequences for their illicit activities,” said Gallagher.
In 2018, The Dark Wire produced “Not in Vein,” a film highlighting the deadly costs of the drug cartels’ trafficking of narcotics into the U.S. Click here to watch the full documentary.