Lesko and Torres Small Introduce DHS Illicit Border Tunnel Defense Act, Clears Homeland Security Committee
Today, the House Homeland Security Committee passed Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small’s (D-NM) recently introduced bill, H.R. 5828—DHS Illicit Border Tunnel Defense Act, which authorizes funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to remediate illicit, cross-border tunnels and directs CBP to create a strategic plan to improve and expand upon tunnel interdiction operations at our southern border.
“Fixing our broken border policy requires strong, smart, and fair solutions,” said Congresswoman Torres Small. “We know cartels and dangerous individuals use underground tunnels to avoid detection, so we must have a strategy to stop them in their tracks. I’m proud to collaborate with Representative Lesko in enhancing CBP’s resources to combat cross-border tunnel trafficking operations, which reflects a mile-by-mile strategy to secure the U.S-Mexico border. I will continue to work with anyone to make sure border policy reflects the realities on the ground.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) is the Federal lead on illicit tunnel interdiction and remediation efforts. In 2013, CBP established a Tunnel Program Management Office within USBP to lead tunnel detection technology efforts following a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General audit that identified a gap in CBP’s ability to routinely and accurately detect tunnels. The DHS Illicit Border Tunnel Defense Act: