Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Representing the 4th District of Missouri
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Hartzler Introduces “Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels Act”

July 25, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) introduced the “Eradicate Crossing of Illegal Tunnels Act.”  This bill expedites the approval process that U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) agents must undergo to destroy tunnels at the border used for illegal crossings and the transportation of narcotics.

 

“We need to ensure our border patrol agents have the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively remove illegal access to our country,” said Hartzler. “Waiting for environmental reviews of drug tunnels that have already disturbed the ground and will ultimately be filled with concrete is unnecessary and threatens our national security.”

 

“Last October, I visited the Southern Border and spoke directly with CBP agents in Nogales, Arizona. The burdensome process for filling illegal tunnels was a top concern. An agent explained that once a tunnel was found, it could take months to get through the environmental reviews necessary to block it.”

 

For example, a tunnel was found in the Rio Grande Valley on January 5, 2019 and was not filled until nearly four months later on April 22, 2019, Hartzler added.

 

Hartzler’s EXIT Act allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive environmental reviews and permits and allows CBP to enter into certain contracts to allow for faster processing. Additionally, the bill clarifies that CBP has the authority to search for and remediate unlawful border crossing tunnels when patrolling the border.

 

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