Sessions, McCaul Crack Down on Border Tunnel Threat

On Thursday, the House Homeland Security Committee advanced legislation introduced by Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and myself, as Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, to establish Border Tunnel Task Forces to secure our southern border and crack down on the smuggling of illegal substances into our country.

Since 1990, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discovered approximately 200 sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnels crossing from Mexico directly into the United States. Each of these tunnels provide the opportunity for thousands of pounds of narcotics, like heroin, and dangerous criminals who deal in human trafficking to freely cross our southern border.  These tunnels are not only expensive to destroy once discovered, but they can also be difficult to detect without the sophisticated equipment or intelligence that keeps law enforcement officers one step ahead of the deadly cartels who build them. 

This is why I introduced legislation to establish border tunnel task forces, comprised of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement, in areas where enhanced information sharing and law enforcement action would contribute to border security. It is my hope that the establishment of these specialized law enforcement groups will help fuel collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement to crack down on those who continue to enter our country illegally and seek to harm our communities. I look forward to this critical legislation advancing swiftly and thank my friend, Chairman McCaul, for joining me in this fight to finally secure our porous border.

Chairman McCaul: “Cross-border tunnels present a unique risk to our security—whether our enemies seek to smuggle drugs, weapons, or people across our borders. As Texans, Chairman Sessions and I understand the threats we face along our southwest border. I applaud him for championing this important national security legislation that will enhance our interagency efforts to better detect criminals, gang members, and potential terrorists across our borders, and I urge my colleagues in the House to support this significant legislation.”

Find more information on H.R. 6740, the Border Tunnel Task Force Act, here.


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