6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Strengthening Counter-Narcotics Cooperation with Mexico and Central America: A Conversation with Senator John Cornyn

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Webcast Recap

Transnational criminal organizations and cartels use corridors connecting Central and South America to the United States as an illicit sales route, dealing in anything that can turn a profit. Drug trafficking, human smuggling, illicit weapons, money laundering, and public corruption are the tools of their poisonous trade, and countries throughout the region suffer the devastating effects.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed his plan to address this crisis on multiple fronts – to stop the influx of drugs, fight human trafficking, reduce public corruption, strengthen border security, improve trade relations, and provide greater economic security in the Americas.

Selected Quotes
 

Senator John Cornyn

“America is still the richest country in the world and we’re probably never going to eliminate the desire of people living in poverty wanting to come to the United States, but at least we need to try and get it under control and fall within our legal, orderly immigration system.”

“President López Obrador has been working with us with some of the asylum flow, allowing people to claim asylum and wait in Mexico, even offering them asylum there and work permits. That is a huge, huge thing and if we were to do something that would jeopardize that burgeoning relationship [shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border] and cause them to view us more in an adversarial posture, they’d be less inclined to cooperate.”

“I think it is highly unlikely [that we will send military force to Venezuela], we have some good partners we are working with in the region, particularly the Columbians, with whom we have an excellent relationship. I just think we need to have all of our assets working, whether it’s our intelligence community or diplomatic efforts across the board. I think it really is teetering on that knife’s edge, and I can’t tell you as we sit here which way it’s going to fall, but the consequences couldn’t be more important.”

“For every NAD Bank [North American Development Bank] dollar that has been invested in an infrastructure project, it has leveraged about 20 dollars in total infrastructure investment. Using both private and public sector dollars, and that’s been over the last 20 years. So Senator Feinstein and I have introduced legislation that would authorize the treasury department to increase NAD Bank’s capital, and provide additional authority related to port of entry infrastructure- which seems to be a common point of interest on a bipartisan basis.” 

Speakers

Keynote