US President Donald Trump's aide Sarah Sanders has been ridiculed for suggesting a border wall would have stopped Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from importing drugs.

The White House press secretary celebrated the conviction of "El Chapo" on her Twitter account but quickly came under fire.

Ms Sanders hinted that Mr Guzman's conviction was linked to Mr Trump's campaign promise of building a wall on the US southern border with Mexico.

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman looks out the window of an airplane. Photo / AP
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman looks out the window of an airplane. Photo / AP

"El Chapo's reign of terror is over," she said.


"He'll spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison. The threat from violent drug cartels is real - we must secure our border."

Included in her tweet was a link to a CBS article outlining the conviction of the drug smuggler, who dumped "more illegal drugs on American streets than any other criminal in history".

Ms Sanders also retweeted a graph purporting to show illegal crossing near El Paso dropped after a border fence was constructed.

But she was castigated for a simple oversight - walls did little to prevent the flood of drugs into the US because El Chapo famously had tunnels dug underneath walls, flew the drugs in on aircraft or smuggled them in through legal points of entry - something people were quick to notice.


US Senator Ted Cruz thinks convicted Mexican drug cartel "El Chapo" should finance US President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall.

"America's justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts," Sen. Cruz tweeted shortly before the Sinaloa cartel boss was convicted on drug trafficking, weapons violations and money laundering charges in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, New York.

"US prosecutors are seeking $US14 billion ($A20 billion) in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder."

But wait ... Ted Cruz has a great idea. Photo / AP
But wait ... Ted Cruz has a great idea. Photo / AP

Fox News reports that Mr Trump has said the construction of a wall would cost around $US5.7 billion ($8 billion).

Guzman, centre, is arrested by US authorities. Photo / AP
Guzman, centre, is arrested by US authorities. Photo / AP

The Texas Republican then urged his colleagues to pass the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act — or El Chapo Act — which would divert drug proceeds from cartel bosses to fund border security.

More than a dozen House Republicans support Sen. Cruz's bill.

Sen. Cruz first introduced the bill in April 2017 and reintroduced it in January.

The reintroduction puts pressure on politicians to put in place a border security spending bill.

A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday tentatively agreed to provide $US1.4 billion ($A2 billion) for border barriers, including 88 kilometres of new fencing along the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Drug proceeds could go a long way in securing the southern border, Sen. Cruz said.

"Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way to secure our southern border, and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals," Sen. Cruz said of his bill in a January news release. "By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people."

Supporters of the wall argue it will deter criminals from entering the US illegally while opponents say the wall would have a minimal impact on the flow of people and drugs into the country.