Congressman David Dreier (R-San Dimas) voted today to approve legislation that helps strengthen our national security by combating the construction of illegal border tunnels along the U.S. -- Mexico border. Rep. Dreier is an original cosponsor of H.R. 4119, the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012, which provides law enforcement additional capability to investigate and prosecute criminals using illegal border tunnels.
"The threat these border tunnels pose lies not only in the illegal trafficking of drugs and humans, but also in the potential exploitation by terrorists," Dreier said. "H.R. 4119 is a common sense solution that provides law enforcement added resources to help combat those who attempt to illegally bring goods into our country."
Background: In 2006, Congressman Dreier authored the House version of the original Border Tunnel Prevention Act, which criminalized the construction of illegal border tunnels into the United States with fines and imprisonment of up to 20 years. The law also carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years for those who recklessly allow others to build these tunnels on their land. In addition, the law doubled the sentence for using a tunnel to smuggle people, weapons, drugs, terrorists or illegal goods.
H.R. 4119 bolsters the original Border Tunnel Prevention Act by enhancing the capacity of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminals using these tunnels. The bill also prohibits attempts to use, construct or finance a cross-border tunnel. Finally, it provides for the forfeiture of cash and merchandise that is illegally brought into our country through a tunnel.