Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is insisting that President Joe Biden designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups, but he didn’t say a word when former President Donald Trump nixed a threat to do so in 2019 under pressure from the Mexican government, according to The Dallas Morning News. Abbott, a Republican and vocal Trump supporter, cited the kidnapping of a U.S. citizen held hostage by the Sinaloa Cartel, an attempt by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel on the Mexico City police chief’s life, and a journalist who was decapitated for his reporting on Mexican cartels as reasons to add cartels to the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The list currently includes 72 terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Hamas, and various al Qaeda affiliates.
In a letter to Biden, Abbott said classifying the cartels as terrorist organizations would lead to harsher sentences for cartel members convicted of crimes, and would bar them from entering the U.S. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama considered, then backed away from, adding drug cartels to the terrorist list during their terms.