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Underground Tunnels

Due to the ever increasing degree of illegal activity, immigration and border security officials have teamed with lawmakers to unveil legislation aimed at prosecuting smugglers who traffic drugs and humans into the United States through underground tunnels. U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Cali) announced her sponsorship of a measure claiming that it would give law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to find and punish tunnel builders. “Underground tunnels present a serious national security threat,” said the senator at a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
The new bill would punish people for conspiring to build smuggler tunnels, regardless of whether the tunnels is completed. The bill would also allow law enforcement to use wiretaps and permit authorities to seize a tunnel constructor’s assets. Sen. Feinstein is a firm believer that the law is needed to halt the growing number of border tunnels in recent years, especially considering authorities have found 137 completed passageways along the U.S.-Mexico border since uncovering the first in 1990. Of these, 125 have been discovered since 2001. While most of the tunnels have been found in California or Arizona (42 in San Diego and 88 in Nogales, Arizona), two were discovered in El Paso, Texas. According to a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection the tunnels often cost more than $1 million and function primarily for drug trafficking, which is more lucrative and poses less of a security risk than human trafficking-yet this happens nonetheless, and so it is for the best that these conduits to human torture are being uncovered and their operations curbed.

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