‘One of the most important bills filed during this Congress’: Congressman Roy’s Push to Designate Cartels as Terrorist Organizations

April 19, 2021
Press Release

Last week, Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) introduced legislation that would designate drug and human trafficking cartels as Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs) under federal law. The bill has been widely reported and gotten a wide range of support from those on and off Capitol Hill.

The “Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act” would formally designate the Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel and the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under federal law. It would also require the State Department to issue a report to congress on additional cartels that meet the criteria for FTO designation and require the department to designate them as such within 30 days of the report.

FTO designations provide for additional “tools” for law enforcement and national security authorities to take action, including by providing additional investigative and intelligence resources and sanction capabilities.

[Cartels] are engaging in dangerous tactics, in terrorist type tactics where they behead people, they hang people from bridges, they burn people alive,” Congressman Roy said after introducing the legislation. “These are organizations designed to intimidate, terrorize, and to basically create havoc at our border, and I think we ought to treat them as the terrorist organizations that they are.”


What others are saying about the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act:

“Chip Roy's HR 2600 is one of the most important bills filed during this Congress. It would declare the Mexican Drug Cartel an international terrorist organization, every Republican and most Democrats should be cosponsors.”

-Ryan Girdusky, political writer and author of They’re Not Listening: How The Elites Created the National Populist Revolution

“Since Biden does not seem to be up to the task, perhaps members of Congress might be able to do something to lessen the harm done by the president’s policies. Roy’s proposal, along with measures that other lawmakers have put forward, might just make a difference.”

Jeff Charles, RedState

“Border states like Texas know an unsecure border doesn’t just mean a surge of migrants, but a surge of human and drug trafficking as well. Proud to support [Congressman Roy’s] bill to designate cartels as terrorist organizations.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Original cosponsor

“Thanks to President Biden hanging out a welcome sign at our southern border, drug cartels are raking in $14 million each day moving trafficked people and illicit contraband into our country. These cartels use barbaric tactics similar to ISIS and al Qaeda to torture and massacre innocents, destabilize countries, and assassinate law enforcement officers. The least we can do is designate these cartels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization so that our law enforcement and national security authorities have the tools they need to act.” 

- Rep. Mark Green (TN-7), original cosponsor

“The cartels are wreaking havoc at our southern border, smuggling drugs, innocent children, and known terrorists into America. By designating them foreign terrorist organizations, we can equip our law enforcement and armed forces with the tools needed to stop these criminals.”

- Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-5), original cosponsor

“The Biden Administration is essentially aiding and abetting cartels by allowing them to grow into a force that destabilizes Central and South American nations, abuses woman and children, and funnels illegal drugs into our country. Designating cartels as foreign terrorist organizations will allow law enforcement to pursue more of an “all-of-the-above” approach in combatting cartels’ criminal activities. I thank Congressman Roy for his work on this important issue.” 

-Rep. Michael Cloud (TX-27), original cosponsor

“Mexican cartels are making roughly $14 million per day by exploiting Biden’s radical open border policies. Today, I joined with my colleagues in the TX delegation to support [Congressman Roy’s] bill to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations”

-Rep. Van Taylor (TX-3), original cosponsor


FTO designation in the news: