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Tipsheet

Rep. Chip Roy Calls For Mexican Cartels to be Labeled as 'Foreign Terrorist Organizations'

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) reintroduced a bill that would designate Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) in response to increased drug trafficking across the southern border. 

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If passed, The Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act would require the State Department to provide a report on the cartels and would give the federal government the power to crack down on them, such as the ability to curb financial support for the cartels since it is illegal for a U.S. citizen to support FTOs.

The Gulf cartel, Cartel del Noreste, the Sinaloa cartel, and the Jalisco New Generation cartel would be labeled terrorist organizations, joining groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. 

"It's long past time to designate these cartels as the terrorists they are and give U.S. authorities the tools needed to take them down," Roy said in a statement to Fox News. "That's why I started pushing the Trump administration for FTO designations during my first few months in Congress, why I introduced this legislation last Congress, and why I'm introducing it again."

Proof of how violent the Mexican cartels can be was highlighted last week when they kidnapped four Americans during a shootout, murdering two of them. 

Roy said the deadly incident "clearly illustrates the fact that cartels are no longer just drug-running gangs."

"They are bold enough to kidnap and kill foreign nationals in broad daylight; there is no limit to the inhumane methods they will use to achieve their ultimate end — profiting off of human suffering," Roy said. "This most recent atrocity adds to the already massive human toll, including 72,000 dead Americans from fentanyl poisoning, more than 1,000 dead migrants along our border, and countless human and sex trafficking victims."

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Attorney General Merrick Garland supported the legislation, claiming the cartels purposely unleashed the fentanyl crisis. 

However, he did show concern about a potential diplomatic impact with Mexico if the legislation were to pass. 

Earlier this week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador threatened Republicans that they would not receive "not one" vote from Hispanics and Mexicans living in the U.S. after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for military action to be used against the cartels. 

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