"Follow the money" is a time-tested method of tracing malfeasance back to its origins. Corporate scams, insider trading or, as former presidential candidate
How can the U.S. government do a better job of stanching the flow of drug cartel money across the U.S.-
(I strongly recommend reading the entire series; the essays can be found at the center's website: www.immigrationpolicy.org.)
"The most basic, the most effective approach to fighting organized crime has always been to cut off their funds," Goddard writes. "But this is not being done in the case of the cartels."
He's right. Politicians would rather talk tough about "sealing" the 2,000-mile U.S.-
Revenues from drug sales in the U.S. are estimated to be
Why? It doesn't seem to be a lack of understanding among federal enforcement authorities so much as a lack of will.
During his time as
What's needed is more coordinated federal efforts to track monies state-by-state, in addition to continued cooperation from Mexican authorities. But even federal efforts in the right direction meet political opposition. Attempts to put restrictions on the ability to move funds out of the U.S. on stored-value instruments (think whopping huge gift cards loaded with narco dollars) died at the hands of industry lobbyists.
It would help if our political leaders learned to think of the cartels not just as violent criminals but also as transnational business organizations. They are ever shifting to avoid the law and ready to launch new product lines when they see a market, whether it be pirated music, movies, software or hijacking. They use U.S. banks and financial transfer systems right under our noses, funding the violence in
The border is far more than a territorial marker, but rather, "a complex, multidimensional interrelationship of immigration laws, cyberspace money transfers and international business connections," Goddard wrote in another essay.
If we don't grasp those concepts, our crime-fighting strategies will continue to veer off course, or completely miss their mark.
Goddard outlines a strategy for reshaping that picture. Is anyone listening?
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