Republicans ponder giving drug cartels enforcement relief
As a countermeasure to President Obama’s move last week to give deportation relief to young Hispanics who are in the country illegally, Republican lawmakers gathered Tuesday to present their plan for a friendlier business environment for Latin American drug cartels. The “American Navigation of Drugs and Law Enforcement” Act (ANDALE) is designed to create jobs and increase Republican appeal to Latinos in the November elections. “We’re showing the president that he’s not the only one with innovative ideas for easing the immigration problem,” said representative Mel Petcalf, a member of the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.
Democrats have decried the move as “cynical gaming of a regional tragedy,” but are already drafting their own version of the plan.
Republicans have been largely silent about the business practices of the cartels, but “the proof is in the pudding.” “By offering these pharmaceutical outlets tax incentives and a capable pool of workers and consumers, we see enormous potential for growth in this sector,” said House majority leader Eric Cantor. “We see this as clearing the pathway to innovation—heck, it could produce the next Steve Jobs.”
“ANDALE is a step forward—for four years, this administration has been spinning its wheels to get America back to work,” said House speaker John Boehner. “And all along the solution has been right under everyone’s noses.”
According to its author Darrell Isssa (R-CA), the ANDALE Act has “a synchronicity with our basic 2012 party platform of creating jobs and upholding constitutional rights that are threatened by the current administration.” The act cites several shared values that make drug cartels the perfect partners for American business:
They’ve got capital. Mexican and Central American drug lords are competitive self-starters, requiring little SBA funding. In Mexico alone, the six top cartels bring in over $90 billion annually, with a separate kidnapping business generating $425 million, “which is mostly in the form of donations,” said Gary Tiller (R-CA), Ways and Means committee member.
They’re job creators. Drug cartels employ over 250,000 workers at all strata of involvement.
Their invoices are always paid. While the IRS has trouble collecting even 25% of the money owed to them, the Beltran-Leyva cartel “vendors” have received 100% of their billing every month for the past ten years. Los Zetas, a competitor known for its more assertive collection methods, is running 138%. Already, American Express has subcontracted almost 300 Los Zetas members as delinquent account consultants.
They respond quickly to the marketplace. Fluctuations in price, consumer confidence, and market trends don’t affect them. “They know exactly how to cut overhead,” said one admiring senator.
They’re staunch defenders of the 2nd Amendment. “Even though they aren’t citizens, we find that the drug cartel members have a deep an abiding respect for the right to bear arms, and that puts them firmly in line with our base,” said Carly Baitz, a congressional candidate from Orange County (CA). “We find that of all our constituency, they are the most persuasive regarding this cherished right.”
They have solid values. More than ¼ of cartel members are named “Jesus.”
They demonstrate how far a business can go under self-regulation.
They support large ancillary businesses. The cartels’ use of plastic bags, rope, saws, lime, pallets and zip ties has generated millions of dollars of business for retailers and wholesalers. “This year, the Knights Templar and a smaller cartel in [the Mexican state of] Zacatecas have vowed to go ‘green,’ and buy only American,” Baitz explained. “That should mitigate criticism of their overall business.”
They’re strictly anti-union. And it’s not just rhetoric; over a million union organizing cards were found in a warehouse fire along with 200 severed tongues. “Their handshake is their contract,” said Congressman Ned Kilgallen. “They say they’re going to do something, you can be sure it’s going to get done.”
They’re risk takers. “Every successful entrepreneur knows you have to take chances,” said Fred Pfaphth (R-WV). “These guys never go the easy route, and their impulses—even the ones that border on sociopathy—are usually dead-on, for lack of a better term.”
Democrats are unimpressed with ANDALE, saying that it’s an unreasonable response to the President’s proposal. “You look at these cartels and you can see right off that women are underrepresented, they have high employee turnover, and their benefits are worse than Walmart and Home Depot combined,” said Cliff Cousins (D-OR). “And their lobbyists kind of creep me out.”
“It’s a shitty, cutthroat and dirty business,” said Donald Trump, who is supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney in his bid for the presidency. “But so’s real estate.”