Rep. Chip Roy Releases Bill Asking Sec. Pompeo To Designate Cartels Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs)

March 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON--Rep. Chip Roy released the following statement Tuesday regarding his bill to direct Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to submit a report to Congress on the designation of certain Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs): 

“Cartels are the problem and it is time we started acting like it,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said. “My colleague Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) and I are asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to conduct a review in order to designate these specific Mexican drug cartels Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).”

Reps. Roy and Green are requesting the Secretary of State review of the following cartels:

  • The Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel
  • The Jalisco New Generation Cartel
  • The Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas

“While there are hundreds of cartels, Dr. Green and I chose these three specific factions because of their particularly violent actions and intentional strategies to affect the political system,” Roy said. “These cartels push for an anarchic form of government which allows them to skirt laws and push their terrorist model without any legal ramifications.”

These dangerous groups terrorize through fear, intimidation, violence, and murder to control the government and bend society to their will,” Roy said. “It is clear to the men and women of Border Patrol and those on the ground that cartels have operational control of our border, which endangers the U.S., Mexico, and the migrants who seek to come here.”

“Designating these cartel factions FTOs would make it unlawful for those providing ‘material support or resources’ to them from entering the U.S. It would prevent actual members of these cartels from entering the U.S. It would also allow Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to block cartel assets,” Roy said. “Dr. Green and I detailed all of this in a letter we circulated to our colleagues last month.”

Last week, during a hearing in the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I spoke with two men who are on the front lines fighting to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities. I asked one of them, the Director of the Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Mike McDaniel, if my colleague Dr. Green and I are correct to push to label these cartels FTOs,” Roy said. “Without hesitation, Mr. McDaniel said that not only are we correct, but that we have his full support.”  

 “I applaud the continued commitment and seriousness with which the President and all executive agencies are taking the emergency situation at our southern border,” Roy said. “Furthermore, I’d like to thank President Donald Trump for ‘seriously’ considering designating drug cartels as FTOs. It is far past time we call these cartels just what they are.”

Rep. Mark Green released the following statement regarding the bill:

“I am pleased to join my colleague Rep. Chip Roy on this bill. Americans know that it is time to get tough and secure our southern border through physical barriers and better enforcement. The president is using the money Congress sent him to begin building a wall, and now we must follow up with this new designation that will empower our law enforcement agents to fight the cartels,” Green said. “Adding them to the FTO is applauded by the experts and those watching our southern border closely. We need to take back control and show these bad guys that Americans are fighting back!”

The U.N.’s Security Council has previously acknowledged the clear link between drug trafficking and terrorism.

Robert Donachie | Communications Director for Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) 
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