Updated: Sep 23
The Honorable John B. Scott
Secretary of State
State Capitol Room 1E.8
Austin, Texas 78701
Dear Mr. Secretary:
Pursuant to his powers as Governor of the State of Texas, Greg Abbott has issued the following:
Executive Order No. GA-42 relating to designation of Mexican drug cartels as
foreign terrorist organizations.
The original executive order is attached to this letter of transmittal.
Gregory S. Davidson
Executive Clerk to the Governor
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS
September 21, 2022
Relating to designation of Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
WHEREAS, Mexican drug cartels are responsible for trafficking hundreds of millions of lethal doses of fentanyl into Texas and the United States; and
WHEREAS, over 1,600 Texans were fatally poisoned by drugs containing fentanyl in 202 1 , representing an increase of more than 680 percent since 20 1 8, and fentanyl’s death toll continues to rise in 2022; and
WHEREAS, Mexican drug cartels also smuggle humans across the Texas-Mexico border and subject them to sexual assault, human trafficking, assault, extortion, and other dehumanizing, violent, and heinous acts; and
WHEREAS, deadly violence is associated with the Mexican drug cartels, who are fighting for the territory needed to expand their influence in the United States; and
WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on May 3 1 , 202 1 , which has been amended and renewed in each subsequent month effective through today, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the surge of individuals unlawfully crossing the Texas-Mexico border posed an ongoing and imminent threat of disaster for a number of Texas counties and for all state agencies affected by this disaster; and
WHEREAS, through Operation Lone Star, I have deployed thousands of brave men and women from the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety to secure the border, and they have seized over 336 million lethal doses of fentanyl trafficked through Texas since March 202 1 ; and
WHEREAS, the head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that “[flentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered,” and that the “[flentanyl available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel”; and
WHEREAS, even though President Biden has declared a national emergency due to “trafficking into the United States of illicit drugs, including fentanyl and other synthetic opioids,” his Administration still has not designated the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1189; and
WHEREAS, designating the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations will target them for enhanced apprehension, prosecution, and disruption, while heightening awareness of their deadly activities for our citizens and the international community;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby designate as foreign terrorist organizations the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and any similarly situated Mexican drug cartels who may be identified in subsequent proclamations.
I further order that the Texas Department of Public Safety shall do the following:
Establish a Mexican Cartel Division within the Texas Fusion Center to collect and analyze intelligence that will enable further apprehension, prosecution, and disruption of these foreign terrorist organizations.
Identify, arrest, and impede the gangs in Texas that support the drug and human smuggling operations of these foreign terrorist organizations.
Conduct multi-jurisdictional investigations of foreign terrorist organizations operating in Texas to support criminal prosecutions here and in other States.
Conduct multi-jurisdictional investigations of transnational and Texas based gangs that support the smuggling operations of foreign terrorist organizations.
Target, seize, and dismantle the infrastructure, assets, vehicles, and buildings used by foreign terrorist organizations to smuggle drugs and people into and throughout Texas.
Enhance southbound criminal interdiction operations resulting in the seizure of bulk cash and other assets being smuggled into Mexico.
Intensify efforts under Operation Lone Star focused on detecting and interdicting transnational criminal activity between the ports of entry.
This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force unless it is modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor. This executive order may also be amended by proclamation of the governor.
Given under my hand this the
21st day of September, 2022.
JOHN B. SCOTT
Secretary of State