The first priority of Congress is to protect the safety and sanctity of the American people and our nation. That means guarding against those who seek to threaten that safety. Border security is imperative to protecting our nation, and we must strengthen our efforts to safeguard where our country is most vulnerable. Protecting our borders from the illegal movement of drugs is crucial part of ensuring the safety of all Americans. 

Opinions on the best approach to securing our border are varied. Whether it’s new infrastructure, advanced technological solutions, increased law enforcement, or a combination of these things, the ultimate approach we take must ensure that the American taxpayer isn’t left to foot the bill. We must implement innovative, cost effective solutions to enhance our current border security efforts, and the BUILD WALL Act of 2017 does just that.

The Build Up Illegal Line Defenses With Assets Lawfully Lifted (BUILD WALL) Act would require the U.S. Attorney General to provide a detailed report on the amount of annual profits brought into the United States by Mexican drug cartels. It would also require a study of how the Department of Justice can increase assets seized from such cartels. The legislation would then use money forfeited from drug traffickers to fund increased security on the U.S./Mexican border. This could include a wall, another type of physical barrier, or infrastructure improvement. It could also be a technology-supported solution, such as sensors, radars, and aerial assets. Most likely, it will be a combination of these things.  

The Justice Department estimates up to $39 billion is collected annually by Mexican drug cartels from sales in the United States. Instead of allowing foreign criminals to feed and profit from our nation’s struggle with addiction, we should use these forfeited funds to secure our border and stop the flow of illegal drugs into our country.

The BUILD WALL Act of 2017 is a common sense solution that would keep the American people, and their pocketbooks, safe. Using funds forfeited from drug traffickers instead of taxpayers would ease the financial burdens on hardworking Americans and help build stronger relations between the United States and Mexico while fighting back against drug trafficking in both countries.