WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Legislation authored by U.S. Congressman August Pfluger, TX-11 and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has been signed into law.
H.R. 4209, the DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act, was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 and signed into law Friday.
The legislation helps secure the southern border by directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop a plan to counteract illegal underground tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 230 tunnels have been found along the United States’ southwest border - allowing transnational criminal organizations to smuggle contraband, currency, weapons and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl into the U.S., Pfluger's office said in a release.
Pfluger, the ranking member on the Homeland Security Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, and Cornyn, the ranking member on the Judiciary Border Security and Immigration Subcommittee, released statements following the Senate passage of the bill:
“Our Nation faces a multitude of threats to our security along the southern border," Pfluger said. “This bill will help seal the more than 230 underground tunnels beneath the U.S.-Mexico border that drug cartels and human traffickers are currently using to smuggle narcotics, weapons, and cash through. Now, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will have the tools and resources they need to develop a plan, destroy the tunnels, and prevent these dangerous products from flowing into Texas. I am proud to see my legislation signed into law and will continue the fight to secure our border.”
“Tunnels are one way cartels try to evade Border Patrol and smuggle drugs, weapons, and people across our border,” Cornyn said. “By eliminating the cartels’ use of tunnels, we can stem the flow of narcotics and human trafficking into the U.S., and I’m glad this legislation is now law.”