Text: H.R.4119 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 112-127 (06/05/2012)
[112th Congress Public Law 127]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
BORDER TUNNEL PREVENTION ACT OF 2012
[[Page 126 STAT. 370]]
Public Law 112-127
To reduce the trafficking of drugs and to prevent human smuggling across
the Southwest Border by deterring the construction and use of border
tunnels. <<NOTE: June 5, 2012 - [H.R. 4119]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Border Tunnel
Prevention Act of 2012.>>
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 18 USC 1 note.>> SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Border Tunnel Prevention Act of
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 18 USC 555 note.>> FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Trafficking and smuggling organizations are intensifying
their efforts to enter the United States through tunnels and
other subterranean passages between Mexico and the United
(2) Border tunnels are most often used to transport
narcotics from Mexico to the United States, but can also be used
to transport people and other contraband.
(3) From Fiscal Year 1990 to Fiscal Year 2011, law
enforcement authorities discovered 149 cross-border tunnels
along the border between Mexico and the United States, 139 of
which have been discovered since Fiscal Year 2001. There has
been a dramatic increase in the number of cross-border tunnels
discovered in Arizona and California since Fiscal Year 2006,
with 40 tunnels discovered in California and 74 tunnels
discovered in Arizona.
(4) Section 551 of the Department of Homeland Security
Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 109-295) added a new
section to title 18, United States Code (18 U.S.C. 555), which--
(A) criminalizes the construction or financing of an
unauthorized tunnel or subterranean passage across an
international border into the United States; and
(B) prohibits any person from recklessly permitting
others to construct or use an unauthorized tunnel or
subterranean passage on the person's land.
(5) Any person convicted of using a tunnel or subterranean
passage to smuggle aliens, weapons, drugs, terrorists, or
illegal goods is subject to an enhanced sentence for the
underlying offense. Additional sentence enhancements would
further deter tunnel activities and increase prosecutorial
[[Page 126 STAT. 371]]
SEC. 3. ATTEMPT OR CONSPIRACY TO USE, CONSTRUCT, OR FINANCE A
Section 555 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at
the end the following:
``(d) Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense
under subsection (a) or subsection (c) of this section shall be subject
to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the
commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.''.
SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION FOR INTERCEPTION OF WIRE, ORAL, OR
Section 2516(1)(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
inserting ``, section 555 (relating to construction or use of
international border tunnels)'' before the semicolon at the end.
SEC. 5. FORFEITURE.
Section 982(a)(2)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
inserting ``555,'' after ``545,''.
SEC. 6. MONEY LAUNDERING DESIGNATION.
Section 1956(c)(7)(D) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
inserting ``section 555 (relating to border tunnels),'' after ``section
554 (relating to smuggling goods from the United States),''.
SEC. 7. SENSE OF CONGRESS.
It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) success in combating the construction and use of cross-
border tunnels requires cooperation between Federal, State,
local, and tribal officials and assistance from private land
owners and tenants across the border between Mexico and the
(2) the Department of Homeland Security is currently
engaging in outreach efforts in California to certain landowners
and tenants along the border to educate them about cross-border
tunnels and seek their assistance in combating their
(3) the Department should continue its outreach efforts to
both private and governmental landowners and tenants in areas
along the border between Mexico and the United States with a
high rate of cross-border tunnels.
SEC. 8. <<NOTE: 6 USC 257.>> REPORT.
(a) <<NOTE: Deadline.>> In General.--The Secretary of Homeland
Security shall submit an annual report to the congressional committees
set forth in subsection (b) that includes a description of--
(1) the cross-border tunnels along the border between Mexico
and the United States discovered during the preceding fiscal
(2) the needs of the Department of Homeland Security to
effectively prevent, investigate and prosecute border tunnel
construction along the border between Mexico and the United
(b) Congressional Committees.--The congressional committees set
forth in this subsection are--
(1) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs of the Senate;
(2) the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
[[Page 126 STAT. 372]]
(3) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
(4) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of
(5) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of
(6) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of
Approved June 5, 2012.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 4119 (S. 1236):
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 112-418, Pt. 1 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 158 (2012):
May 15, 16, considered and passed House.
May 17, considered and passed Senate.