A conservative writer is urging the U.S. to take stronger measures against Mexican drug cartels, which are key lynchpins in the human trafficking and drug trades affecting Americans.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the U.S.-Mexico border, at this point, is one of the most chaotic, over-trafficked, and outright dangerous borders in the world,” Josh Hammer, syndicated columnist, Newsweek opinion editor and host of “The Josh Hammer Show,” wrote in a recent op-ed.
Hammer is the latest in a growing chorus of political figures calling for the U.S. government to formally designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations, in order to enact harsher measures to root out their operations, including the possibility of sending military troops across the southern border for kinetic conflict.
The U.S. Department lists three legal criteria that must be met in order to designate a group a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO):
- It must be a foreign organization
- The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in two sections of U.S. law (one)(two)
- The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.
A formal designation of cartels as FTOs “would allow the U.S. government to use various means to financially suffocate the cartels and deprive them of their funding sources,” Hammer argues. A common argument against classifying cartels as FTOs is the assumption that diplomatic relations with Mexico would be complicated, which Hammer dismisses, stating that Mexico has “just as much — if not more — of an interest in uprooting the cartels as the U.S.”
Calls for federal officials to take action directly against cartels has surged, following the sea of fentanyl pouring in from Mexico — federal officials recently say they seized enough fentanyl to kill every single American — as well as the high-profile kidnapping of four Americans, two of whom were shot and killed.
On March 10, U.S. House Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) announced he is introducing legislation that would designate Mexican cartels as FTOs in response to the surge in illicit border activity.
“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 told Fox News Digital. “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.”