Mexican and United States authorities have discovered an incomplete illegal cross-border tunnel between the cities of Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona.
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a statement issued yesterday that Tucson sector Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement found the tunnel “during a routine binational tunnel sweep Monday afternoon.”
The CBP said “the entry point was found submerged along the international waterway channel constructed below both cities of Nogales.”
The tunnel measured approximately 15.2 meters in length and extended 13.4 meters into the United States before coming to “an abrupt stop underneath a parking lot in Nogales, Arizona.”
The statement added that agents found digging tools and structural shoring within the tunnel, indicating that “excavation was still in progress and incomplete.”
Smuggling tunnels linking cities on both sides of the Mexico-United States border are found relatively frequently.
The Mexican army found a 230-meter narco-tunnel between San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, and San Luis, Arizona, in August after receiving an anonymous tip and in September, Mexican authorities discovered a sophisticated although incomplete solar-powered tunnel between Tecate, Baja California, and San Diego County, California.
Cross-border tunnels are most commonly used to transport drugs into the United States but migrants have also been known to use them to enter the U.S. illegally.
The CBP said that agents will continue to “monitor and inspect” the tunnel that was found Monday until it is properly secured and filled with concrete.
It also said that “Tucson sector Border Patrol continues to work closely with strategic partners in Mexico to detect tunnels under construction to prevent the movement of illegal contraband or persons across the border.”
Migration to the United States from Mexico is a hot button issue currently, with thousands of Central Americans waiting at the border to request asylum.
An increasing number of migrants are crossing or attempting to cross the border illegally to hand themselves into U.S. border agents and thus circumvent the lengthy wait to plead their case from Mexico.
Mexico and the United States announced yesterday that they would cooperate on a development plan in southern Mexico and Central America to curb migration.
Mexico News Daily