Stop Taxpayer Funding Of Traffickers: Human And Drug Traffickers Can Currently Receive Government Benefits
February 23, 2023
Congresswoman Kat Cammack of Florida and U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced legislation recently to ensure human and drug traffickers cannot continue to defraud the American taxpayer while they await prosecution and conviction. The bill, "Stop Taxpayer Funding Of Traffickers Act," comes after several visits to the border over the last two years by Congresswoman Cammack, Senator Blackburn and their colleagues.
While Congresswoman Cammack led the House version of the Bill, Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Katie Britt (R-AL) co-sponsored the Senate legislation.
"Over the last two years, we've seen the horrific consequences of the Biden Border Crisis, including the devastating toll on our communities nationwide from drug and human trafficking. In Marion County, Florida, our sheriff's department has recovered bricks of Fentanyl with stamps from border cartels, alongside pill presses and sophisticated distribution plans. Our first responders gear up each day to save lives from Fentanyl overdoses occurring almost daily, putting their own lives at risk," said Representative Cammack. "Those responsible for trafficking drugs and people into our country at our borders and in our waters should not receive federal assistance after violating our laws—not only is it wrong, but it rewards those who have perpetuated this deadly crisis. I'm pleased to join Senator Blackburn on this effort and look forward to growing this legislation's support with my colleagues."
"For two years, President Biden’s open border policies have emboldened the cartels and caused human trafficking to grow to a $13 billion industry, with criminal cartels earning up to $14 million each day. Last year alone, law enforcement seized over 14,000 pounds of Fentanyl at the border, enough to kill over 3.3 billion people. We cannot continue to incentivize this blatant criminal activity. This legislation ensures that hardworking American taxpayers – already crushed by inflation – are not forced to fund the lifestyles of offenders who are making our country more dangerous," said Senator Blackburn.
"As a border Sheriff, I have witnessed the senseless tragedies on our southern border at the evil control of ruthless and violent criminal transnational organizations, i.e. cartels. These cartels exploit their criminal enterprise based on fear, violence and greed. I support and commend [the] efforts to pass legislation for those directly responsible in these types of criminal acts that violate Public Safety - National Security and Humanitarian offenses," said Sheriff Mark Dannels, Cochise County, Arizona and NSA Border Security Chair.
Even after offenders are charged with federal drug and human trafficking offenses, many of them continue to live in government housing and receive other government benefits while they persist in exploiting and trafficking women and children or smuggling drugs across the border.
The Stop Taxpayer Funding Of Traffickers Act:
• Prohibits anyone charged with drug or human trafficking at our international borders or in our territorial waters from receiving federal government benefits.
• Defines "drug trafficking offense" as any federal offense that includes as an element the distribution of a controlled substance.
• Defines "human trafficking offense" as a range of offenses, including smuggling, transporting and harboring individuals.
• Defines "federal benefit" to include the issuance of any grant, contract, loan, professional license or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States, as well as any Retirement, Welfare, Social Security, Health, Disability, Veterans, or Public Housing Benefit.
• If the charges are dismissed or the individual is acquitted, provides for back payment of benefits to any individual deprived of benefits under this section.
View the Senate version of the legislation at: https://www.blackburn.senate.gov/services/files/DB997415-471D-4D5F-BD2B-7C3C8EC73778
If you wish to discuss this legislation with Congresswoman Kat Cammack you can reach her office at: (202) 225-5744.