It's hard to believe, but under existing law, convicted drug smugglers can still keep their U.S. passports.
Closing this loophole in the law is one proposal that President Reagan wants a bipartisan task force on drugs to consider - if he can get Congress to help put the task force together in the first place.The president wants the still-incomplete panel to have specific recommendations on dealing with illegal drugs ready in 45 days. One of the measures sought by the president deals with the passport issue.
There is no argument with the idea of revoking passports upon conviction of drug smuggling. In fact, the only surprising thing is that such an obvious step has not been taken long before this.
Currently, a passport can be temporarily seized if someone is found to be smuggling drugs into the U.S. But after a person is convicted on such charges, there is no provision in the law to revoke the passport. That seems like the first thing that ought to be done.
Whether or not the president gets his task force from a Congress that seems less than enthusiastic for another study, the law still should be quickly changed to deny passports to drug felons.
Why give drug smugglers official opportunity to try again?