February 18, 2017
President Donald Trump is taking aim at transnational criminal organizations and international trafficking.
In a recent executive order, President Trump called for the enforcement and strengthening of U.S. Federal law to thwart transnational criminal organizations and their subsidiaries, “including criminal gangs, cartels, racketeering organizations, and other groups engaged in illicit activities that present a threat to public safety and national security.”
The activities include the illegal smuggling and trafficking of humans, drugs or other substances, wildlife, and weapons; corruption, cybercrime, fraud, financial crimes and intellectual property theft; as well as the illegal concealment or transfer of proceeds derived from these crimes.
The order directs Federal law enforcement agencies to give high priority to the identification, disruption and dismantling of the transnational organizations engaging in such illicit activities, including through investigation, apprehension and prosecution of members of these organizations; their extradition to face justice in the United States, and, where appropriate and lawful, the “swift removal from the United States of foreign nationals who are members of such organizations.”
The order also calls for enhanced cooperation with foreign counterparts working in the same area, as well as the development of strategies to maximize coordination among all U.S. federal agencies to counter such crimes “within and beyond the United States.”
Transnational criminal organizations, the order states, “are drivers of crime, corruption, violence and misery. In particular, the trafficking by cartels of controlled substances has triggered a resurgence in deadly drug abuse and a corresponding rise in violent crime related to drugs. Likewise, the trafficking and smuggling of human beings by transnational criminal groups risks creating a humanitarian crisis. These crimes, along with many others, are enriching and empowering these organizations to the detriment of the American people.”
With this order, U.S. federal agencies, under the particular guidance of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in compliance with all laws, are charged to develop strategies, utilize resources, and work together toward an essential goal. “A comprehensive and decisive approach is required to dismantle these organized syndicates,” the order states, “and restore safety for the American people.”