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116th Congress   }                                             {   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                             {  116-471

======================================================================



 
              DHS ILLICIT CROSS-BORDER TUNNEL DEFENSE ACT

                                _______
                                

 August 7, 2020.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5828]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5828) to support remediation of illicit cross-
border tunnels, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
C.B.O. Estimate, New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and 
  Tax Expenditures...............................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel 
Defense Act''.

SEC. 2. COUNTER ILLICIT CROSS-BORDER TUNNEL OPERATIONS.

  (a) Report on Operations.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than one year after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the 
        Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall submit 
        to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and 
        Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report on operations 
        carried out to identify, breach, assess, and remediate illicit 
        cross-border tunnels, including performance measures.
          (2) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized to 
        be appropriated to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to 
        carry out remediation operations of illicit cross-border 
        tunnels.
  (b) Counter Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Operations Strategic Plan.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and 
        Border Protection shall develop a strategic plan to address the 
        following:
                  (A) Risk-based criteria to be used to prioritize the 
                identification, breach, assessment, and remediation of 
                illicit cross-border tunnels.
                  (B) Promote the use of innovative technologies to 
                identify, breach, assess, and remediate illicit cross-
                border tunnels in a manner that, among other 
                considerations, reduces the impact of such activities 
                on surrounding communities.
                  (C) Processes to share relevant illicit cross-border 
                tunnel location, operations, and technical information.
                  (D) Indicators of specific types of illicit cross-
                border tunnels found in each U.S. Border Patrol sector 
                identified through operations to be periodically 
                disseminated to U.S. Border Patrol sector chiefs to 
                educate field personnel.
                  (E) A counter illicit cross-border tunnel operations 
                resource needs assessment that includes consideration 
                of the following:
                          (i) Technology needs.
                          (ii) Staffing needs, including the following:
                                  (I) A position description for 
                                counter illicit cross-border tunnel 
                                operations personnel.
                                  (II) Any specialized skills required 
                                of such personnel.
                                  (III) The number of such full time 
                                personnel, disaggregated by U.S. Border 
                                Patrol sector.
          (2) Report to congress on strategic plan.--Not later than one 
        year after the issuance of the strategic plan required under 
        paragraph (1), the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security 
        of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland 
        Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report on the 
        implementation of paragraph (1).

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 5828, the ``DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense 
Act'' addresses the illicit cross-border tunnel threat along 
the southwest border of the United States. The bill requires 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to develop a strategic 
plan to: establish risk-based criteria for tunnel operations; 
incorporate innovative technologies to limit the impact of 
tunnel remediation activities on local communities; establish 
processes for sharing information on tunnel locations; identify 
tunnel indicators to dispense to the field, and detail a 
resource assessment of technology, personnel, and training 
needed for tunnel operations. CBP must report to Congress on 
the implementation of the strategic plan. The bill also 
authorizes $1,000,000 for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to 
remediate illicit cross border tunnels.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Since 1990, law enforcement agencies have discovered more 
than 200 illicit cross-border tunnels and transnational 
criminal organizations continue to construct these tunnels in 
order to circumvent U.S. border security.\1\ These cross-border 
tunnels are mainly used to smuggle narcotics--including opioids 
such as fentanyl--but have also been used to facilitate the 
illicit movement of contraband, currency, weapons, and people 
across the border.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Drug Control Strategy, Southwest Border Counter 
Narcotics Strategy 2020, Office of National Drug Control Policy, 
February 2020, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/
2020-Southwest-Border-Counternarcotics-Strategy.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2019, CBP discovered the longest illicit cross-border 
tunnel on record. The tunnel originated in Tijuana, Mexico and 
had an exit point in San Diego, California. The tunnel extended 
4,068 feet into the U.S. from the southwest border and 
contained a rail cart system, forced air ventilation, 
electrical cables, and an elevator. CBP officials conveyed to 
the Committee that increased investment in tunnel detection 
technology in prior years has helped enhance its capability to 
identify illicit cross-border tunnels on the southwest border.
    CBP has told the Committee that though it has adequate 
resources to detect illicit cross-border tunnels, it lacks the 
sustained ability, strategy, and personnel to ensure that upon 
detection, tunnels are properly mapped, assessed, and 
remediated. By developing a strategic plan that includes risk-
based criteria, information sharing processes, innovative 
technology considerations, tunnel indicators, and a staffing 
and resource needs assessment, CBP should be able to better 
execute counter illicit cross-border tunnel operations.

                                HEARINGS

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res 6. of the 
116th Congress, the following hearing was used to develop H.R. 
5828:
           On July 25, 2019, the Committee held a 
        hearing entitled ``Homeland Security Implications of 
        the Opioid Crisis The Committee received testimony from 
        Ms. Sondra McCauley, Assistant Inspector General for 
        Audits, Office of Inspector General, Department of 
        Homeland Security; Mr. James Hinson, Jr., Deputy Chief, 
        Greensboro Police Department, Investigative Bureau 
        Commander; Dr. Bryce Pardo, Associate Policy 
        Researcher, RAND Corporation; and Ms. Bridget Brennan, 
        Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Office of the Special 
        Narcotics Prosecutor.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    The Committee met on February 12, 2020, with a quorum being 
present, to consider H.R. 5828 and ordered the measure to be 
reported to the House with a favorable recommendation, with an 
amendment, by unanimous consent.
    The following amendment was offered and agreed to by 
unanimous consent:
    An amendment offered by Mrs. Lesko.

          In section 2, amend subsection (a) to read as 
        follows:
          (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to the Commissioner of 
        U.S. Customs and Border Protection $1,000,000 for each 
        of fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to carry out remediation 
        operations of illicit cross-border tunnels.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 5828.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT 
                    AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of the estimate of new budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues 
contained in the cost estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, June 9, 2020.
Hon. Bennie G. Thompson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5828, the DHS 
Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    
    

    H.R. 5828 would authorize the appropriation of $1 million 
in 2021 and in 2022 for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to 
remediate illicit tunnels that cross the nation's border. The 
bill also would require CBP to produce a strategic plan for 
identifying and remediating such tunnels, including an 
assessment of technology, personnel, and resource needs for 
future remediation operations, and to report to the Congress on 
the implementation of the plan within one year.
    Based on the cost of similar activities, CBO estimates that 
preparing the strategic plan and the report would cost less 
than $500,000 in 2021. In total, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $2 million over the 2020-2025 
period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Director 
of Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      DUPLICATIVE FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 5828 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the objective of H.R. 5828 is to 
improve border security by requiring CBP to develop and submit 
to Congress a strategic plan to enhance illicit cross-border 
tunnel operations, and by authorizing additional resources for 
tunnel remediation purposes.

                          ADVISORY ON EARMARKS

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the rule 
XXI.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    This section states that the Act may be cited as the ``DHS 
Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act.''

Sec. 2. Counter illicit cross-border tunnel operations

    Subsection 2(a) authorizes $1,000,000 for fiscal years 2021 
and 2022 for tunnel remediation operations.
    Subsection 2(b)(1) requires that not later than 180 days 
after the enactment of this Act, the CBP Commissioner develop a 
strategic plan. Specifically, the strategic plan is to include 
the following:
    (1) Risk-based criteria to be used to prioritize the 
identification, breach, assessment, and remediation of illicit 
cross-border tunnels.
    (2) Innovative technologies to identify, breach, assess, 
and remediate illicit cross-border tunnels in a manner that, 
among other considerations, reduces the impact of such 
activities on surrounding communities.
    (3) Processes to share relevant illicit cross-border tunnel 
location, operations, and technical information.
    (4) Indicators of specific types of illicit cross-border 
tunnels found in each U.S. Border Patrol sector identified 
through operations to be periodically disseminated to U.S. 
Border Patrol sector chiefs to educate field personnel.
    (5) A counter illicit cross-border tunnel operations 
resource needs assessment that includes consideration of 
technology needs, staffing needs, including a position 
description for counter illicit cross-border tunnel operations 
personnel, any specialized skills required of such personnel, 
and the number of such full time personnel, disaggregated by 
U.S. Border Patrol sector.
    Subsection 2(b)(2) requires that not later than one year 
after the issuance of the strategic plan, the CBP Commissioner 
submit a report to Congress on the implementation of the 
strategic plan.