Crane Anti-Border Tunnel Bill Passes Committee, Awaits House Vote

Crane Anti-Border Tunnel Bill Passes Committee, Awaits House Vote

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 11, 2024

As if the southern border crisis could not get any worse, instances of tunneling under protective barriers have increased since 2008. A bill introduced by Representative Eli Crane (R-AZ) in February has recently passed the House Homeland Security Committee, where it awaits a vote on the House floor.

According to a Department of Homeland Security report, over 140 tunnels have been found entering the United States since 1990, and discoveries have spiked 80% since 2008.

Some of these tunnels are quite sophisticated, as The Guardian reported in May 2022 about a passage discovered running the length of six football fields, about a third of a mile, from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, California, near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. The drug-smuggling route six stories deep boasted ventilation, reinforced walls, electricity, and even a rail system.

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A similar tunnel was found in August 2021 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) near Baja California, which, while shorter, was similarly sophisticated in its features, including an electric hoist.

2020 saw the discovery of the longest-known tunnel at three-quarters of a mile, and arguably even more sophisticated, with similar electricity, ventilation, a rail system, a drainage system, and even an elevator.

Rep. Crane's bill, introduced with Representative Lou Correa (D-CA), would require Customs and Border Patrol to annually report on anti-tunnel actions to Congress so that strategies can be effectively updated regularly.

In his press release, Rep. Crane noted, "Effective border security is created by overlapping deterrents. My legislation would help ensure that Congress has the necessary data to forge another much-needed layer of defense—especially when the Biden Administration's policies have left our country inexcusably vulnerable."

The Arizona Congressman's remark echoes similar comments in an interview with Cactus Politics in March before President Biden's State of the Union address, citing his experiences as a Navy SEAL.

"Security has always been and always will be overlapping deterrence," Crane told us, describing how he would always return to a walled base after missions, but that was only one part of the defenses. "If you cannot even get the basic right, you will never get the important right," Crane concluded.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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