The Congresswoman’s Bill Would Combat the Use of Social Media by Transnational Criminal Organizations Seeking to Recruit Individuals in the United States to Support Their Illicit Activities
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s Combating Cartels on Social Media Act as one of 15 key bills the organization believes “would achieve important progress toward addressing America’s immigration and border security challenges.”
Spanberger’s bipartisan bill would fight back against cartels using online platforms to recruit Americans for smuggling operations along the southern border. By enhancing cooperation between government agencies and private sector platforms, the Combating Cartels on Social Media Act would help law enforcement hold cartels accountable — while also giving border communities and communities across the country the tools they need to engage with and educate at-risk youth who are targeted by the cartels. Spanberger introduced her bill in March 2023.
In a letter sent to all Member of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed Spanberger’s Combating Cartels on Social Media Act and commended her for working with Members from both parties to put forth “bipartisan, commonsense solutions” amid America’s challenges.
“We believe Congress can make meaningful progress to secure America’s borders and modernize the broken immigration system,” said Neil L. Bradley, Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Officer, & Head of Strategic Advocacy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Action on these bipartisan bills would be a good start.”
“As a former federal agent and CIA case officer who tracked cartels and worked narcotics cases, I recognize the national security threat posed by cartels — both to vulnerable populations south of our border and to the Virginians I represent,” said Spanberger. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a stark uptick in cartels using social media platforms to recruit drivers to help with human smuggling operations. Our bipartisan bill goes after these criminals, holds them accountable for preying on vulnerable populations, and recognizes the urgency of the crisis at our southern border. I appreciate the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to finding common ground on one of the most challenging, complex, and pressing issues of our time.”
Spanberger is leading the Combating Cartels on Social Media Act with U.S. Representatives Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX-26) and Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06) in the U.S. House — as well as with U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), James Lankford (R-OK), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) in the U.S. Senate.
Spanberger has consistently worked to crack down on international human trafficking and smuggling networks, stop deadly drugs — including illicit fentanyl — from entering Virginia’s communities, and improve America’s fentanyl detection capabilities.
In December 2022, President Biden signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation — the Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act — to strengthen America’s response to fentanyl coming through the nation’s borders and ports of entry.
And in December 2019, former President Trump signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan bill to direct the U.S. intelligence community to prioritize efforts to combat drug trafficking, human trafficking, and human smuggling networks in the Northern Triangle countries — Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — and Mexico.