Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., resumed calls Wednesday for Congress to use money and other assets seized from convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to pay for improved border security after a federal judge sentenced Guzman to life in prison.
“El Chapo’s going to spend the rest of his life behind bars, so the feds should seize his drug money and use it to secure the border," Sasse said in a statement Wednesday. "This convict doesn’t need the cash – he’ll be getting three square meals a day and making collect calls from the big house.”
Sasse is a cosponsor of the EL CHAPO Act, a bill authored by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would require any money seized by the U.S. Government from Guzman's estate to be used "for security measures along the Southern border, including the completion of a border wall." EL CHAPO is an acronym for the bill's full name — the Ensuring Legal Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act.
Cruz introduced the bill in January and pushed for it throughout the early part of 2019. He said the cocaine magnate's empire was largely built by violating U.S. immigration laws.
"There's a justice to it," Cruz told "Fox News at Night" in February. "You know those billions that El Chapo has were made trafficking illegally across the U.S. border, bringing narcotics across the border, and it is only right that those ill-gotten gains go toward fixing the problems and stopping the next narcotrafficker."
Cruz noted after Guzman was convicted that prosecutors were seeking $14 billion of the drug lord's assets, more than double the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump has said a border wall would cost.
"By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people," Cruz said in a January statement.
Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.