Can the Trump Administration Use Asset Forfeiture Funds to Build the Border Wall?

Can the Trump Administration Use Asset Forfeiture Funds to Build the Border Wall?

Hawaiian vacation. Margarita machine. Sparkles the Clown. Are we going to add Trump’s border wall to the list of “ridiculous things” that civil asset forfeiture funds have been spent on?

It seems so if left up to this administration.

On Friday, two congressional Republicans told the Associated Press that the administration had been looking at civil asset forfeiture funds to finance the border wall’s construction. And it’s easy to see why. The federal government’s forfeiture fund currently has $3.7 billion in cash, but over $7.6 billion in assets. For the Trump administration, what could be more tempting than liquidating this slush fund to build the wall it wants a new influx of $5.7 billion for?

This scheme exemplifies all that is wrong with civil asset forfeiture, which occurs when law enforcement takes property away from someone based on the mere suspicion it is connected to a crime. To be clear — because people can’t believe this is a thing — you do not have to be arrested or convicted of a crime to have your property seized and taken under civil asset forfeiture.