Press releases

Watch Kennedy’s full remarks here.

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in introducing the Ending the Notorious, Aggressive and Remorseless Criminal Organizations and Syndicates (NARCOS) Act of 2023 to designate Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

The legislation would also create a task force for the purpose of eliminating the threat that cartels and drug trafficking, particularly fentanyl, pose to American citizens.

“Americans are being killed on both sides of the border. And Americans are being addicted, certainly, on our side of the border—killed, too,” said Kennedy.

“We need to dismantle and disincentivize Mexico’s cartels in every way possible. Designating these murderers as foreign terrorist organizations would give U.S. officials more tools to use in putting the cartels and the networks that support them behind bars,” he explained.

“Despite what the President of Mexico says, drug cartels are in control of large parts of Mexico. They are making billions of dollars sending fentanyl and illicit drugs into the United States where it is killing our citizens by the thousands. Designating these cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations will be a game-changer. We will put the cartels in our crosshairs and go after those who provide material support to them, including the Chinese entities who send them chemicals to produce these poisons. The designation of Mexican drug cartels as FTOs is a first step in the major policy changes we need to combat this evil,” said Graham.

By designating drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, the U.S. government would have authority to prosecute individuals for drug and human trafficking. America could also use extraterritorial jurisdiction to target and prosecute foreign nationals involved with Mexican cartels or other transnational criminal organizations.

The Ending the NARCOS Act of 2023 would designate the following cartels as foreign terrorist organizations under the Immigration and Nationality Act:

  • The Sinaloa Cartel
  • The Jalisco New Generation Cartel
  • The Gulf Cartel
  • The Los Zetas Cartel
  • The Northeast Cartel
  • The Juarez Cartel
  • The Tijuana Cartel
  • The Beltran-Levya Cartel
  • The La Familia Michoacana, also known as the Knight Templar Cartel

Kennedy’s remarks are here.

The bill text is here.