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Friday, April 9th, 2021

Bill seeks to sanction drug cartels at the same level as terrorist groups

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Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced Monday legislation designed to impose consequences on drug cartels.

The Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act would subject certain foreign criminal organizations, such as drug cartels, to the same level of sanctions as terrorist groups.

“Cartels are the worst of humanity,” Perdue said. “As we saw in last month’s horrific attack in Mexico, they terrorize innocent families and exploit children in order to fuel the drug trade and other illicit activity. These criminal organizations must face severe consequences for the terror they inflict in the United States and across the world. This bill is an important first step toward putting cartels out of business once and for all.”

The measure would empower the federal government to impose immigration, financial, and criminal penalties on the most significant Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs).

The bill would also bar organization members and their immediate families from admission to the United States, freeze the organization’s assets, and levy civil and criminal penalties against individuals who assist the organization. It would also require the President to submit a report to Congress with the government’s findings on the Nov. 4, 2019, attack on U.S. citizens in northern Mexico, including a recommendation on whether the organization responsible should be designated as a significant TCO.