From 1990 to 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol how found an astonishing 224 border tunnels leading into the country from Mexico. The largest one, discovered in 2009 in San Diego, was 70 feet deep-3 feet wide, and a remarkable 2,700 feet long. According to the AP, the tunnel was also equipped with “a rail system, lighting, and air ventilation”
The tunnels have grown in popularity over the last two decades, as a safer way to smuggle in illegal immigrants and lethal narcotics. And it is a tireless, and dangerous, job of border patrol agents, affectionately known as “tunnel rats” to discover the tunnels and shut them down.
The biggest majority of tunnels are constructed in Arizona and California, where construction sounds are muffled amidst the sounds of industry. Marijuana is the drug most often transported in the tunnels, usually in loads weighing into the tons.
Cocaine is also trafficked through the underground systems. In 2015, law enforcement seized the drug in connection with two California tunnels, including one that ran underwater from a house in Mexicali, Mexico, to the All-American Canal near the city of Calexico. A supervisor for ICE has called the structures both…
Elaborate and Costly
ICE and Customs official believe Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel is responsible for building the majority of tunnels. They spend upwards of $1 to $2 million dollars to construct each one, but that money is quickly recouped from the drug sales in the U.S.
When agents find a tunnel, they work quickly to fill them with concrete so they cannot be reopened by traffickers. Often they risk being detected by smugglers or fear the walls will collapse on them and bury them alive. However, on the Mexico side it is a different story.
Government officials have claimed they don’t have the money to fill the holes properly, leading to them being used again at a later time.Perhaps they should use the $50 million they are currently spending to help illegals stay in America?
That would certainly buy a lot of concrete. Fortunately, President Trump has made stopping illegal immigration and halting the flow of drugs across the border a priority for ICE and Homeland Security.