Congressman Ben Quayle released the following statement after legislation he cosponsored, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012 (H.R. 4119), was reported out of committee by a unanimous vote. The bill increases criminal penalties for constructing, financing or using cross-border smuggling tunnels. Congressman Quayle has been working with the sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), to advance the bill through the Judiciary Committee.
"For more than twenty years, dangerous drug cartels have been using illegal cross-border tunnels to smuggle drugs into the United States--74 of these tunnels have been found in Arizona alone. The penalties for those caught constructing, financing and using these tunnels have been absurdly low, and I'm glad to join Congressman Reyes in addressing this problem.
"I have been working to get this bill through the Judiciary Committee, and I'm grateful to Chairman Smith and my colleagues for their support in reporting this bill out of the committee to the House floor. It is time to stop the rampant construction and use of border tunnels and I believe that this legislation will accomplish exactly that when it is enacted"
Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith congratulated Rep. Quayle following the committee's passage of the bill:
"I congratulate Representative Quayle on the Committee's passage of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012. I appreciate his leadership on this important legislation to help combat the construction of cross-border tunnels. Drug cartels will stop at nothing to get their destructive products into the U.S. In the last five years, 40 tunnels have been discovered in California and 74 in Arizona. This bill gives law enforcement officials the tools they need to investigate and prosecute those who construct, finance and use cross-border tunnels."