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Feinstein says building border tunnels should be outlawed

California Senator Diane Feinstein wants to make it illegal to build or finance a cross-border tunnel. Feinstein made the announcement at the Otay Mesa warehouse where the longest ever tunnel under the U.S. Mexico was discovered last month. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

As it stands now, tunneling under the U.S. border is not a crime. Senator Diane Feinstein's legislation, co-sponsored by Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, would make building or financing a tunnel punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Landowners and lessees on whose land a tunnel is discovered would get up to 10 years. And sentences for smuggling drugs or anything else through a tunnel would double.

Feinstein says the proliferation of passageways under the U.S. Mexico border is a real problem.

Feinstein: "Think of everything that could be smuggled underground that could do this nation great harm. And think of the fact that there is no federal law in place."

Forty tunnels have been discovered since September 11th. Federal officials say they're almost exclusively used to smuggle drugs. Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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