Senator Cornyn

Cornyn, Pfluger Bill to Seal Cross-Border Tunnels Signed Into Law

December 23, 2022

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and U.S. Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) released the following statements after their DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act, which instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop and execute a plan to combat the use of tunnels by cartels and other transnational criminal organizations, was signed into law: 

“Tunnels are one way cartels try to evade Border Patrol and smuggle drugs, weapons, and people across our border,” said Sen. Cornyn. “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.”

“Our Nation faces a multitude of threats to our security along the southern border,” said Congressman Pfluger. “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.”


The DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop a plan that helps identify, breach, and remediate illicit cross-border tunnels. The legislation also requires CBP to conduct a resource assessment to determine the technology and staffing needs necessary for this strategic plan’s implementation, and report to Congress on CBP’s implementation progress after one year.