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Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Legislation targets border trafficking, smuggling

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Citing the disabling of smuggling and trafficking as a national intelligence priority, Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced last week a measure to address the matters along the border.

The Trafficking and Smuggling Intelligence Act of 2019 ensures the intelligence community prioritizes resources combating drug trafficking, human trafficking and human smuggling in the Northern Triangle and Mexico, which they said serves as key contributors to the migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico Border.

“Human traffickers and smugglers are exacerbating the crisis at our southern border and putting innocent lives at risk,” Hurd said. “I am proud to introduce this important legislation to help dismantle these networks and work to address the crisis at our southern border.”

The bill would, among other provisions, require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to provide Congress with analytical assessments of the activities of drug trafficking organizations, human traffickers and human smugglers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico; require DNI’s assessments address activities of those organizations impacting the security and economic situation in those countries and contribute to migration to the U.S.-Mexico border; and require the intelligence community to conduct a review of its activities in the Northern Triangle and assess whether its priorities are sufficient to address the threat.

“As a former intelligence officer, I worked drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Central America,” Spanberger said. “And as a former federal law enforcement agent, I worked on-the-ground drug cases and have seen the real impact of the drug trade on our local communities. This bipartisan bill would use the expertise of our intelligence community to help us better understand how to combat drug trafficking, human smuggling and organized crime in the Northern Triangle.”