Sens. Marshall, Scott Reintroduce Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act

(Washington, D.C., March 8, 2023) – Today, U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Rick Scott (FL) reintroduced the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act, which would provide federal law enforcement with additional power to fight back against the drug cartels by formally designating them as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The bill follows yesterday’s tragic news that two of the four American citizens kidnapped in Tamaulipas, Mexico were killed by their captors. 

“What happened in Mexico yesterday was a tragedy and a symptom of a larger problem stemming from the culture supported by our national leadership. The drug cartels have taken full advantage of the culture of lawlessness Joe Biden has created by leaving our southern border wide open, promoting cashless bail, defunding the police, turning his back on violent riots, and denying the fentanyl crisis is created by his policies. No wonder the cartels think they can get away with this violence towards American citizens because, for over two years, they’ve seen zero accountability from Joe Biden. The White House continues to be derelict in its duty to execute the law faithfully and protect the homeland, which is why our country needs the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act to give federal authorities more power to preserve every Americans’ safety and security,” said Senator Marshall.

Senator Rick Scott said, “For too long, Biden’s botched border policies have prioritized criminals and cartels over legal immigration and Americans’ safety. Dictators, cartels and bad guys around the world know that Biden is a weak appeaser with open border policies. They’re taking full advantage by trafficking evil drugs like fentanyl across the southern border, poisoning our communities and killing our loved ones. Those who knowingly distribute these highly lethal drugs are declaring war on Americans and deserve to be held accountable and classified as the terrorists they are.”

You may click HERE to read the full text of the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act.


The Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act would formally designate the following cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations:

  • Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel.
  • The Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas.
  • The Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
  • The Sinaloa Cartel

The Senators’ legislation would also require a report on possible additional cartels to give the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation. This declaration would:

  • Make it against the law for individuals to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to the cartel to enter the United States.
  • Ban any foreign citizen from entering the United States who is a member of one of these cartels, is formally associated with the organization or who has “engaged in terrorist activity” relating to that organization.
  • Grant the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to freeze the assets of each cartel and block any transactions relating to those assets.