Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is refusing to publicly support a proposal that would designate the Mexican drug cartels as “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs) under United States law.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Mayorkas said it was a “difficult question as to where the line between criminality, however vicious, and terrorism is drawn” when dealing with the Mexican drug cartels.
Mayorkas ultimately dodged the question, stating that the issue falls on the State Department, not DHS.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Mayorkas about an FTO designation for Mexican drug cartels:
GRAHAM: Do you support labeling these drug cartels as FTOs under U.S. law?
MAYORKAS: Ranking Member Graham, I’ve heard you speak of this issue. As well, I share your view 100 percent that these are ruthless, vicious peddlers of death–
GRAHAM: Well do you support my efforts to make them FTOs?
MAYORKAS: This is a decision that rests in the jurisdiction of the Department of State, and it is a difficult question as to where the line between criminality, however vicious, and terrorism is drawn. And I’d–
GRAHAM: Not, not, not for me. When you kill 70,000 Americans, you have crossed the line.
Mayorkas’s refusal to publicly support the designation comes after Attorney General Merrick Garland said there are “diplomatic concerns” with imposing such a plan.
“They are already designated in any number of ways and sanctioned,” Garland said before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month. “I wouldn’t oppose it, but again, I want to point out that there are diplomatic concerns. We need the assistance of Mexico in this.”
The cartels, as Breitbart News chronicles, enjoy operational control of the U.S.-Mexico border cities, ensuring that deadly drugs such as fentanyl are routinely trafficked into American communities and migrants are smuggled with financial obligations to repay smugglers.
Most recently, Gulf Cartel members in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, kidnapped four Americans and murdered two of them. The cartel faction tied up five of its members, who they claim carried out the kidnapping and murders, and left them with a public apology.
A recent survey from Rasmussen Reports found that 65 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans, and 63 percent of swing voters agree that the cartels ought to be designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. federal government.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
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