Today the President signed the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012, which builds on past efforts to criminalize the construction or financing of unauthorized tunnels across an international border. The Administration appreciates the leadership of Congressman Silvestre Reyes and Senator Feinstein, which led to the passage of the bill. Today’s bill signing is one more step in the Obama Administration’s efforts to strengthen our nation’s border security to deter and prevent smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration, while safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration.
Over the last three and a half years, this Administration has dedicated unprecedented resources to our borders with real and significant results. Our borders are more secure than ever. We have nearly doubled the number of Border Patrol agents since 2004, Department of Homeland Security unmanned aerial capabilities now cover the Southwest border from California to Texas for the first time ever, and apprehensions along that border reflect far fewer attempts to cross illegally while seizures of illegal currency, drugs, and guns are dramatically up – leading to increased criminal arrests and prosecutions. Today, the Department of Homeland Security released the first unified Northern Border Strategy that provides a framework to enhance security and resiliency while expediting lawful travel and trade.