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MORE TUNNELS UNDER THE BORDER

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Border Security Efforts Bring New Challenge
By Harold Hutchison

Efforts to secure the American border with Mexico have been so successful that smugglers have increased tunnel activity by 80 percent since 2008.

In a report by FoxNews.com, Victor Manjarrez, associate director of the National Center for Border Security & Immigration at the University of Texas-El Paso, said, “Tunnels are definitely the new paradigm for smuggling organizations who have to adjust to the constriction caused by border security strategies and the residual circumstances of a chaotic border.”

Since 1990, over 140 tunnels have been discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border. In one case, 54 tons of marijuana were seized over two years from one tunnel. In another case, a $10 million pot bust was made.

“We have seen increased sophistication in construction of the tunnels in recent years -- tunnels which are built with rail systems and ventilation,” Tristan Reed, an analyst with STRATFOR, said. “The improved designs certainly cost more money to construct, so that trend is a sign that smugglers see underground routes as a good investment with little risk.”