Trump's border wall has been a seemingly unending source of contention in the US, with government actually shutting down for over a month thanks to the dispute. And it seems things are only going to continue in the same trajectory, as senator Ted Cruz has added his opinion into the mix this week.
Cruz, who was the runner-up to President Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, has voiced his support for Trump's controversial border wall. Cruz has also offered a rather unique solution to the small matter of the wall's cost - which was the initial reason for the government shutdown of last month.
Cruz has suggested that there's an untapped source of cash, ready and waiting for the wall building to go ahead. He claims money from recently arrested cartel leader Joaquin Guzman aka 'El Chapo' should go towards the project. But the internet is pretty skeptical as to the viability of this idea.
The Mexico-United States Barrier has long been a political issue.
via: Getty ImagesWhile some support securing the US border, the idea of a physical barrier has always been extremely controversial.
When current President Donald Trump ran for office, one of his primary messages was based around building a border wall.
via: ShutterstockHe claimed he would build the wall, and that Mexico would pay for it - a statement vehemently denied by the Mexican President.
Since his election, though, Trump has not backed down.In January of 2017, Trump signed an Executive Order which formally directed the beginning of the border wall's construction. Trump wanted to use existing federal budget to pay.
The lack of clarity over the funds caused a full government shutdown.
via: ShutterstockThe federal government refused to fund the massive expense of the wall, and Trump refused to let it go.
This government shutdown lasted for over a month.
via: Getty ImagesFrom December 22nd, 2018 until January 25, 2019, an enormous number of federal government workers were unable to work.
The shutdown ended with Trump still unclear about how the wall would be paid for.
via: Getty ImagesAlthough the idea of the border wall is still very clearly at the forefront of both President Trump's and a majority of Republicans' minds.
The latest Republican to throw his hat into the ring?
via: ShutterstockUnited States Senator Ted Cruz, of course. Cruz is best known as the runner-up for the 2016 Republic Presidential nomination.
He's also known for his conservative views.Cruz, too, is in support of the controversial (and some would say, racially problematic) border wall.
He's also known for something quite weird.
Happy Halloween https://t.co/jIgTaIMzep— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1541011121.0
However, the internet wasn't having it.
imagine being so genuinely awful as a human being that you had to literally pretend to be a serial killer to be mor… https://t.co/Efh7ppaIcc— Quarantine Goth Ms. Frizzle (@Quarantine Goth Ms. Frizzle)1541011908.0
But now Ted Cruz has piped up on a more topical matter.One February 12th, Cruz took to Twitter to offer his innovative (though slightly out-there) opinion on how the USA could afford this border wall.
He shared his view on where the extra budget could be found.
America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S.… https://t.co/c4TFALsHaK— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz)1549996922.0
Cruz thinks the convicted cartel leader Joaquin Guzman should pay.
It’s time to pass my EL CHAPO Act. I urge my Senate colleagues to take swift action on this crucial legislation.… https://t.co/ha6wvmdgCh— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz)1549997047.0
This is because of the recent conviction of Guzman.
via: Getty ImagesGuzman was found guilty on all counts, including conspiracy and drug trafficking, and now faces life in prison.
Cruz expanded on his views in a think-piece in the Washington Post.He writes, "With Democrats and Republicans locked in a staring contest over border security, there’s a solution here that secures the border and won’t cost the taxpayers one dime: Let’s build a wall, and make El Chapo pay for it."
There's no denying that Guzman is a bad man.In fact, in 2015, the criminal proudly claimed, "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world," in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Guzman is worth millions of dollars.Which Cruz claims the US Government now has a right to. "Criminal asset forfeiture can occur after a conviction in a variety of circumstances; when a criminal has used a building, car, or secret fund to conduct illegal activities, the government can take it away." Cruz claims.
And since the question of budget has been so incendiary, this seems like an obvious solution.
via: Getty ImagesCruz goes on to say, "No matter what fraction of El Chapo’s holdings the federal government manages to seize, it will put a dent in our nation’s border security bills without affecting any funds currently going to victims or law enforcement."
However, the issue of the border wall is not so simple.The fact that Trump has so vehemently promised it without ever giving a thought to funds worries some. Others think it'll be largely ineffective and a waste of money.
And that's without even getting started on issues of racial discrimination.For many, it seems Cruz is providing an oversimplified solution to a complex and convoluted problem.
Cruz has been doubling down on what he clearly thinks is a genius idea.
Make El Chapo pay... https://t.co/sV8ML4mgU3— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1550159521.0
However, some don't see his point of view.
It’s unreal how dumb @tedcruz is.— Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler)1550095533.0
Because it seems he may not have looked into the legalities.
@SenTedCruz That’s not how government appropriations work @SenTedCruz .— Sharon Ringel (@Sharon Ringel)1549998138.0
The El Chapo act has potentially problematic implications.
has ted cruz tweeted that actually it’s very good and constitutionally sound for the feds to seize private citizens… https://t.co/5iAnfFGT28— kilgore trout, back in some form (@kilgore trout, back in some form)1550179787.0
Others pointed out this irony.
@chriskrokshow @tedcruz That’s Ted for ya ,,,, https://t.co/8r5DxvH865— ZENA (@ZENA)1550156142.0
President Trump had a particularly odd response.
President Trump on Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) suggestion that assets seized from Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin El Chapo c… https://t.co/sFXLnOUKYO— Ryan Saavedra (@Ryan Saavedra)1550080739.0
Some made this point.
Why doesn’t Trump fund Trump’s border wall? https://t.co/ahnlM7qMSt— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡)1550078039.0
Regardless of the government seizing of private funds, some had another issue.
@abc13houston Why dont they use the money TO HELP AMERICANS REBUILD AFTER ALL THESE CATASTROPHES? https://t.co/YVEKzuUczW— Kaykaysins (@Kaykaysins)1550111589.0
Of course, there were some good old classic Twitter reactions.
This is just an observation, but #TedCruz kinda looks like an elephant shrew... https://t.co/fCG5NNfQwe— ⚔️Cam🛡 (@⚔️Cam🛡)1550155309.0