Senator Ted Cruz has an interesting idea for financing the wall President Donald Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border.
Trump has repeatedly claimed Mexico will pay for a wall.
But here's the thing: That's not happening.
The Mexican government has made it abundantly clear it's not going to finance what is viewed by many as a ridiculous waste of money that won't even be a bandaid for the myriad issues plaguing America's broken immigration system.
Ted Cruz, however, just introduced a plan that would use the $14 billion in assets the US government is trying to get from the infamous drug lord Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo."
Cruz introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, which, you guessed it, has been nicknamed as the El Chapo Act (how clever), on Monday.
In short, the bill calls for any funds the US government seizes by prosecuting El Chapo to go toward the wall.
In a statement, Cruz said,
So, this would not require the Mexican government to pay for the wall. It would also potentially keep US taxpayers out of the equation, while essentially requiring a Mexican citizen to cover the cost.
This isn't exactly what Trump promised, but, in a sense, he could spin this to claim Mexico is paying for the wall if the bill passes.
El Chapo's lawyers are not happy.
El Chapo's lawyers, Michael Schneider and Michelle Gelernt, told New York Daily News, the US government has "yet to demonstrate that Mr. Guzman has any assets at all."
El Chapo twice escaped Mexican presidents.
He was eventually recaptured and extradited to the US, and now faces federal charges including conspiracy to murder and money laundering.
The wall could cost a lot more than $14 billion.
On top of the legal challenges the El Chapo Act faces, it's also not clear how much Trump's proposed border wall will cost.
Long story short, even if Cruz's El Chapo Act comes to fruition, it might not cover the cost of the wall.
This would likely mean US taxpayers would cover the rest of the bill.