Monday, January 30, 2006
Tunneling into America
I heard the news about Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, his cameraman, after landing in San Diego Sunday morning. The report on my blackberry stopped me cold. It's one of those things all of us who've been to Iraq know can happen, but when it does, it's still like a punch to the stomach. My thoughts and prayers are with Bob and Doug and their families.

I'm in San Diego because we've been given remarkable access to the tunnel discovered last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It's no surprise drug cartels will do just about anything to bring narcotics into the United States, but the sight of this tunnel up close is remarkable.

Two years ago, ICE agents got some information that there was a massive tunnel either being built or already completed under the U.S.-Mexican border. When they finally discovered it last week, even they were amazed at its size. It is the longest tunnel they've ever found. It runs about 2,400 feet, the size of eight football fields.

What's so surreal is that the tunnel's exit on the U.S. side is in a tiny office inside an enormous industrial warehouse. If you saw it in some movie about drug dealers, you'd never believe it because it seems so implausible. They found more than two tons of marijuana inside the tunnel, but it is likely that cocaine and other drugs were brought through as well.

The tunnel is leaking. There are several inches of water on the ground, and they've brought in pumps to try to dry it out. They've already processed the crime scene, and tonight on the show we'll give you an exclusive tour.

We also drove down to Tijuana last night for an update on a story CNN's Thelma Gutierrez filed on sex trafficking of children. In 2003, the United States passed the PROTECT Act, which makes it illegal for an American to travel overseas with the intent to have sex with a minor. The hope was that it would put a dent in the sexual exploitation of children. While it has resulted in a number of arrests, there are still plenty of young girls working the streets, as we saw last night in Tijuana.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 12:32 PM ET
  82 Comments
To think of the length of time & the effort to make this tunnel is surreal!
How on earth did no one suspect that something covert was happening? Didn't the U.S. gov't. just come under fire recently for "spying" on normal U.S. citizens? Yet they cannot detect a massive undertaking of this magnitude?! Just makes you wonder!
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Edmonton AB Canada : 2:08 PM ET
That is a very sad story: sex trafficking of children. I wonder how effective the law enforcement of the 2003 PROTECT Act is. Surely, only by listing the Act on US Embassy in Manila's FAQ, for instance, won't go very far. Are those predators more aggressive because of the current prostitution regulation in the US? Won't people normally get more curious on something that is prohibited or forbidden? Have you sent your researcher to the "Prostitution Information Center" in the Amsterdam's red light district? I was stunned to learn that I could do a scientific research on the issues but I should believe it because the information officer (read: a former sex-worker) talked about her business and related-projects very fluently, without any hesitation, did not capture the notion how uncomfortable I was and the fact that my face was as red as Maine's lobster.
Posted By Anonymous Uber Swot, Chicago, IL : 2:55 PM ET
All of Europe is opening its borders to let citizens of every country live free, enjoy border free travel and most importantly work and contribute wherever they please (within the EU). This has contributed not only to economic aspects ( US Dollar value versa Euro Dollar value!) but also to the cultural safekeeping of traditions, fair trade. Officials within the EU are able to cooperate and control issues like drug and human trafficking. Get it? Open the borders and things like this will no longer embarrass the US Homeland Security office. There is better use for US Tax Dollars to be spent then on inconsistent border control. Let's see: victims of natural disasters, medical research, education, the list goes on.
Posted By Anonymous Katrina, Phila, PA : 3:09 PM ET
The PROTECT act is one of the best acts passed in recent years. It's too bad that it's still not being highly enforced. Keep reporting on it, and keeping it top of mind!

Would love to see you expose sites like TER and bigdoggie on your show. Many of those men also go overseas. Why pay 1000 for a high end call girl when you can spend 1700 for air, hotel, and a full menu with underage girls?
Posted By Anonymous Chey Saint Paul MN : 3:28 PM ET
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR); that's what you need. It's expensive, but if you want to nip this sort of thing in the bud, you've got to step up the intensity of surveillance, and upgrade the technology. GPR is highly effective -- it's been used to outline ancient canals in Egypt buried for 4,000 years. However, it will necessitate increasing the frequency at which the satellites traverse the US-Mexico border, and that is going to cost a lot more money. I'm talking $-millions, maybe tens of $-millions. Fighting drugs -- talk about a money-pit.
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Ottawa, Canada : 3:33 PM ET
Katrina,
You are nieve to say that Europe has open borders. Ask those in northern africa and eastern europe how easy it is to enter the EU.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/05/europe_enl_1128701984/html/1.stm
Sure looks like a fence to me.

The news you care to hear about Europe comes from the west, that is to say ask Maine about the southern border of the US.


The real enforcement happens in the Balkins and eastern Europe. But the UK still turns people away from France who are in the EU illegally.
Posted By Anonymous Bill, Austin TX : 3:51 PM ET
Not only is it hard to imagine the time and effort put forth, but what kind of man-power would it take? How many people would be involved in constructing a tunnel like that? Of those people, it's sort of amazing that someone working on the tunnel wouldn't have bragged about or mentioned details to a friend or relative, who in turn told someone else - information that actually could have led Custom officials to the location much faster than the two years (!) that passed since the tunnel rumors began. But then again, those who deal in the illegal narcotics business must be pretty adept at keeping secrets.
Posted By Anonymous Chriss Miller, Canton, OH : 3:53 PM ET
I am glad it didnt' turn out to be 2 tons of explosives being smuggled in or 2 tons of biological or chemical weapons. The reason why it ended up in a small office in a huge US warehouse is probably because most of the Mexicans working there on the take from mules and coyotes.
Posted By Anonymous Astrid, Los Angeles, California : 3:58 PM ET
I've always wanted a tour of an underground drug trafficking tunnel. No, really! I was worried I'd have to start working for Heroin'R'Us (Heroin'Is'Us?) to get a glimpse. Lucky for me, you're gonna take care of that instead!

I think it's hilarious (both in the 'Ha ha' and 'Oh dear' way) that we even need the PROTECT Act. You'd think that since sex with a minor is illegal in the US, it's citizens would realize it was illegal for a reason, and act accordingly (as in, not going to Tijuana to get their jollies). Seems to me that the people doing it in the first place have clearly have problems, ones that an Act making it officially illegal and not just really socially unacceptable isn't going to fix.
Posted By Anonymous Frances, Winnipeg MB, Canada : 4:03 PM ET
I am furious that our government officials and border patrols (who I pay for through taxes) turn their heads on these issues. We should remove all illegals from this country immediately!! This will also help the businessman who follows the rules for a living! Will also lower my auto, medical insurance that covers illegals!
Posted By Anonymous b mckee-orange co, nc : 4:07 PM ET
I love the blog. When did the blog start? Now, all you need is a podcast.

To be on topic, I'm amazed that over the years no one noticed the construction of the tunnel.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Los Angeles CA : 4:11 PM ET
As somebody that grew up in the former "East Block" of Germany, I know very well how to appreciate open borders. So, please don't put words in my mouth! I also speak from experience when I say that as a member of the EU you are free to travel and work wherever you please. Just recently several countries were accepted into the EU. Most of them Eastern European Countries! That is more "open border" then you can say from the US. Hundreds of people die trying to cross into the US. Every heard of "Human Rights"?

Check this out:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

You figure it out!
Posted By Anonymous Katrina, Phila, PA : 4:16 PM ET
When is the US going to wall off Mexico for good. We can do it. Mexico is a forth world country and needs to pushed away from us.
Posted By Anonymous James Knauss, Houston, Texas : 4:20 PM ET
I realize that Mexicans building a tunnel to traffic drugs is intolerable, however, I could understand the reasoning behind the tunnel if it were the only way one could see coming to American. Can you imagine a day without Mexican's working in America--we could not do it, and no one ever seems to address this--we do need the Mexican citizens who, all they want to do is, work to make a good living for their family. Why can't it be like it was 20 years ago, let the Mexican's in, they will all do the dirty work that no US citizen wants to do anyway!
Posted By Anonymous Pleasant Hill, CA : 4:24 PM ET
Sex trafficking of children, Drug Tunnels, Katrina victums, the War in Iraq...and the U.S. spends and sends billions of dollars to Pluto? Why... so the U.S. can be the first? We have our priorities mixed up. We need to spend the billions of dollars we blast off into outer space on the broken lives on this planet first.
Posted By Anonymous Tina - Columbus, Ohio : 4:26 PM ET
Remove all the "illegal's"...well now that would mean everyone EXCEPT those of indian decent would get to stay because EVERYONE was an "illegal" at one time!
I wouldn't say head's are turned but I would say the job is not as easy as people want to think or believe.
Posted By Anonymous Brianna, Saginaw Michigan : 4:27 PM ET
It is silly to blame the other country for the problems you have at home. So, if you close the borders, then automatically you won't a problem with drug compsumtion in this country? I am not even Mexican, but I am getting tured of the arguments that it is Mexico or China causing all the problems in the U.S. This issue is not about opening the borders either. It is about focusing on the problems that affect this country and what we can do to solve them. Blaming others doesn't work.
Posted By Anonymous E, Chicago, IL : 4:33 PM ET
This is not the first tunnel discovered nor the only one in existance now. Why do you think they exist? They are supplying the DEMAND for drugs in this country. Quit hating the wrong people Americans.
Posted By Anonymous AMY, San Antonio, TX : 4:37 PM ET
What is amazing to this long time observer of the west coast pot market is that there's even a market in California for Mexican marijuana of the quality that comes in tons. The marijuana market on the West Coast has long been largely satisfied by domestic growers in the state. Bringing in dirt weed smacks of a coals to Newcastle type of "business plan". That's probably why it was still just sittin' there in the tunnel. They couldn't move it.

We could sure solve the drug aspect of this problem in a heartbeat if we'd just do away with prohibition (again). Of course, then the law enforcement/prison construction industry would have to find a whole new slew of "clients".
Posted By Anonymous Clifton Bradwood, Taylorville, Oregon : 4:40 PM ET
I can't wait to see that story. That tunnel sounds surreal.
Posted By Anonymous Marla Gaspard, Kenner, LA : 4:43 PM ET
Whenever we discuss border issues, it is easy to focus on Mexico; but the truth is that drugs come through Mexico, but that is not the only country sending drugs to the U.S. Also, whenever we discuss the issue of illegal aliens (even if you are in favor of doing something to change their stauts), we need to open our minds beyond Mexico. For example, El Salvador and Honduras ( almost half-a-million of them)have had a special temporay protected status that allowed their citizens living in the U.S. before Hurricane Mitch or a series of erathquakes affected central america.
This program gave to the citizens of those countries temporary permits that allow them to work legally in the U.S. Most of the workers that rebuilt the Pentagon, after 9-11, were salvadorans working legally with this permit. I think that there are jobs, not only dirty jobs, that immigrants are willing to take. Do you think that people with jobs and money to send back to their countries need to get into the drug business? Again, let's think about solutions.
Posted By Anonymous E, Chicago, IL : 4:49 PM ET
Katrina-

Please spare all of us your warped view of immigration into the U.S. This country, like every other has a process by which to gain entry, so your knowledge of "human rights" needs some work. No one has the "right" to circumvent the established procedure to legally enter this country and as evidenced by the diversity I see daily, the process works to some extent.

Also, it's ironic that you choose the Statue of Liberty's to back up your point because , the people who know it's wonderful words the most are those that passed before it while LEGALLY becoming a part of this great nation.

My grandparents had to even go so far as to complete paperwork to come here from Europe and as fascist as that probably sounds to you, that's the process; you apply for entry and wait your turn. If I were to somehow develop brain damage and decide that I wanted to become a citizen of the E.U., I'd have to do the same and I'd be expecting to do so. If I have to wait 2 hours at a registry office to renew my license, I imagine emigrating to an entirely new country must involve some sort of process, ya' think???

Get used to it.
Posted By Anonymous Chris - Boston, MA : 4:54 PM ET
Well, when I saw that this tunnel story still had some legs I had to reread it. I was afriad I was missing the real impportance of it.
I had a stir of fear that weapons of mass destruction were found, or maybe a secret cell of al Qaeda, or maybe even Osama bin Ladin and his dialysis machine!
No, not any of those. So I read on more, expecting maybe to see some buried pictures of Bush and Abramoff, or another 1000 pages of illegal wire taps on quaker peace activists. I thought that maybe they found clues suggesting that was were Karl Rove had been hiding before his reemergence to push the plan for lies and deception in the next election cycle.
Nothing. I even googled "tunnel+Breaking news+Alito+destruction of the constitution. No luck.
I'm not sure what was really found in the tunnel, but I'm sure it must have been a fake memoir or a missing cruise ship passenger.

Or maybe it was just a big tunnel.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Athens, Ohio : 4:56 PM ET
I bet Lou Dobbs was not surprised by this tunnel. JS
Posted By Anonymous Judy : 5:01 PM ET
Welcome to San Diego, Anderson! Being a native San Diegan of Mexican heritage, it's good to know that you and your team will be reporting to a national audience what has been something pretty 'normal' (unfortunately) to us southern Californians. Kudos on doing a great job and letting the world know the situation here along the San Ysidro/Mexican border. I have no doubt this recently found tunnel is only one of many...every few years they find one. Enjoy your stay in San Diego and when you find some time to relax, have a good taco and a shot of Tequila before you leave...lol God bless and 'Adios!'
Posted By Anonymous Adriana Suarez, San Diego, CA : 5:03 PM ET
Marijuana Laws are ridculious when you can go to any liquor store and purchase a drug that is 10 times worse. It should be legalized.
Posted By Anonymous T. Hortman, Fort Worth Texas : 5:13 PM ET
Just a couple of months ago, a similar tunnel was found on the Canadian/US border near Vancouver, but hardly broke the national news. Makes me wonder what the issue is....the tunnel, or Mexico?
Posted By Anonymous Grant, Vancouver, BC : 5:20 PM ET
I like it when you report on real news; like the smuggling tunnel, border problems, etc. I hope your show sticks to issues that matter and refrain from shows devoted to 2 hours of Oprah's interveiw with Frey.
Posted By Anonymous Trudi, St. Paul, Minnesota : 5:22 PM ET
As a young woman, I thank you for bringing the sex trafficking issue to everyone's attention. I wish more people in this country, especially politicians, would step forward to protect innocent children instead of worrying about less revelant subjects.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, Ohio : 5:28 PM ET
Do you want the "other comment"?
Under age americans cross the Mexican border just to get wasted. Forget Cancun, that's to much culture and much more neat that the always open bar for americans' kids.
Chicanos hate mexicans, and mexican really don't bother about them, except for the increase of AIDS cases, orphans, and different culture where the crossing paths to US are.
Mexicans also see the problem, we see it every night at Hermosillo's International Airport, where herds of Chicanos take shuttles to the border.
Forget what you have, there is a lot more than illegal inmigrants taking your jobs for a slavish wage.
Posted By Anonymous Ricardo, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. : 5:40 PM ET
Grant,
Thanks for the comment. First of all, I am against illegal immigration but it seems that some people, like many other in the world, tend to find that "other" that causes all the problems (China or the "broken borders" with Mexico for Loui Dobbs). There are throusands of illegal Irish in this country but they are not the "other". Don't get me wrong, I have lived in other countries such as Costa Rica and there the "other" are the Nicaraguans. I was there when there was a bank robbery and the witnesses said that they looked Nicaraguans and spoke with a nicaraguan accent. Later, they caught the robbers and they were from Colombia. I think the issue is that the economy is in pretty bad shape, there are no jobs (at least the ones that most of us would like to have), and the future looks very uncertain. In times like this one we want to find answers and without the right information it is easy to blame the immigrants or just one country. I am from central america and I never hear "those Salvadorans are stealing our jobs". Anyway, I would like to see a real debate of the immigration issue, rather than just the blaming game.
Posted By Anonymous E, Chicago, IL : 5:47 PM ET
off topic, the mission to pluto cost 200 million dollars, relatively cheap as space missions go, and is the same amount of money a pro baseball player will make in the amount of time it takes to get there (10 yrs)( In response to misinformation earlier). As far as the drug tunnel; tell me something I didnt know that's happening. That's why it's called NEW's. I've got a feeling that one of americas fav reporters could pull something a little more compelling out of the pot, so to speak...
Posted By Anonymous Jason Bailey, San Fransicko, CA : 5:50 PM ET
I can tell you exactly who is benefiting from the influx of Mexicans to our lovely country - the people of New Orleans. The rebuilding phase of the city is largely dominated by Mexican workers who toil through all hours of the day and night. While people are still having very hard times getting work done around the city, it would be even worse if there were not Mexicans around to do it. And I can tell you one more thing - no one is concerned whether they are legal or illegal. They are there to help, and thats what the city needs.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Baton Rouge, LA : 5:58 PM ET
I applaud you and your crew for bringing an in depth view of "the tunnel" to your viewers; but I have just a few questions... that I hope you answer tonight:

Did the ICE agents set-up a sting operation to catch the individuals utilizing this underground tunnel? I realize the footmen are on the lowest level on the org. chart; but maybe some information of who created "the tunnel" could be realized?

Also, in America's glourious history, how many other tunnels have been discovered for the same purposes of smuggling? I seem to remember a tunnel of similar size from Canada to New York during the bootleg era.
Posted By Anonymous Joi-An - Dallas, TX : 6:02 PM ET
I heard about tunnels traveling from Mexico to the US 10 years ago. This one is just the first of many.

Don't be surprised to hear about one and two man subs off the coast either.

Where there's a will there's a way!
Posted By Anonymous Vlad, Middletown, PA : 6:22 PM ET
Lets all look at Mexico, if Presidente Fox and his country could create Jobs for it's people. They would not leave, they would not subject themselves to slave like conditions in the U.S.A. They would not risk their lives carry drugs(Mules) thru tunnels to support an illegal American habit.
Lets hope for a new administration that will accomplish the Mexican dream, which is to work at a good paying job on their own soil.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Chicago,IL : 6:25 PM ET
If it could be proved that the tunnels recently discovered on the border were being used by Osama bin Laden, to funnel people and material into the US, would Bush have a less cavalier approach to border enforcement? The truth is, for all we know, terrorists could easily use these tunnels for this purpose. Bush says he wants to protect the homeland. I thought that the homeland was the US, not Iraq. As far as I can tell, the Bush administration cares more about paying lip service to this issue than doing anything about it.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 6:51 PM ET
I agree with Tina. Instead of sending a multi-billion dollar rocket to Pluto, let's spend a fraction of that securing our borders. It's time we stop whining about it, and force those in Washington to spend our money in a manner that will actually benefit us. I don't care if they are Republicans/Democrats or independents- it seems that all members of Congress, the Senate, and the President ignore what the American People really want. I'd be happy to spend a couple billion dollars on a new rocket to Pluto, provided that all members of congress and the President get on board for a one way trip...
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Boston MA : 7:08 PM ET
It would be interesting to know who actually is behind the financing of the tunnel from Tijuana to San Diego and if the leading drug cartel in Tijuana is responsible. Since they complete with the drug cartel in Juarez, Mexico, perhaps there is a tunnel there going into El Paso financed by the competing drug cartel in Juarez.
Posted By Anonymous Marian, New London, MO 63459 : 7:08 PM ET
Hi Cooper!
You better report something new and interesting because most of these people on the blog seem to know their stuff. Needs a new angle.
Posted By Anonymous Avril, Toronto, Canada : 7:17 PM ET
I volunteer for a non-profit organization who help the families of migrant workers, and the majority of them are hispanic. Growing up in a town where the population consist of farmworkers who pick tomatoes and oranges, and after speaking to their families, I realized that even though the majority of them are here illegally, they have children to feed and rent to be paid and if picking tomatoes in the fields in 90 degree heat with little pay is the only way they can do it, it's a living. I would love to see any anglo take a shot at picking tomatoes, that are not at a salad bar or supermarket. Another thing I've noticed, is the animosity many people have towards hispanics in general. When I go to Wal-Mart on Sunday, which is the one day out of the week farmworkers have off, I can see the stares of disgust and hear the rude snickers of the other shoppers, mostly soccer moms who shrug their shoulders and don't bother to say excuse me as they pass by. As a Mexican-American, who's both a proud American and a proud Mexican born in Florida, I believe that laws need to be followed and that crime and punishment is neccesary to run a country successfully, after all I'm a Law-Student going to college, but to be stereotypical and say that all illegals need to be sent back to Mexico is a bit rational, after all America was built around immigrants from all over this great big diverse world German, Polish, Irish, Mexican, African, Asian, and all in between who came to United States of America for a better life, key word here "UNITED." Basically, WE'RE ALL ILLEGAL! If anyone should be upset, it should be the Indians who had this fruitful piece of land first, and were later invaded by the Pilgrams.
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Immokalee, FL : 7:18 PM ET
I'm just surprised that this tunnel didn't open up into the neighborhood Wal*Mart. I can't imagine that anyone would go to that much work to build a tunnel of that size if there wasn't a market for the immigrants and drugs they're providing here in the U.S. Believe me, I'm not a card carrying member of the moral majority but, I see it as simply a supply and demand situation. The U.S. Govt. should wake up and use this to our advantage. We need plenty of hard working people to help the folks in Louisiana and Mississippi. Let's give them a job...and a little weed to take the edge off at night. Case closed. We didn't even have to build the tunnel. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Looking forward to the State of the Union coverage. Be well.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Butler, PA : 7:42 PM ET
Anderson
The drug tunnels from Mexico to the United States are old news. Perhaps you think this is the first tunnel found. It is not!! I lived in Arizona and California and they always found large drug smuggling tunnels.
Posted By Anonymous Carol Senal Chicago IL : 7:47 PM ET
It is truly sad that this has happened however these people chose to be there. They knew the risks. If this were anyone else, no one would care. These people are no different. You don't want to be hurt? Don't go.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan, Birmingham, AL : 8:10 PM ET
I'm so happy you haven't been injured when you've been in these dangerous situations. Maybe prayer does work... Be careful in that crazy tunnel. Hopefully you guys aren't inside it tonight for the show. I'll be sure to watch. I can't understand why anyone wants to hurt children like this. Hopefully you can catch them in the act. I tried to read the comments on the blog but they aren't being published. I guess it's hard to filter.
Posted By Anonymous Annabelle Echo, Chicago, IL : 8:19 PM ET
I am not suprised by the tunnel. I know that many illegal immigrants have been coming to Texas for many, many years. My mother's family is of Hispanic race and have hated the fact that the illegal immigrants cause havoc to the hispanic community in our state and the tunnel just gives people a new reason to show a hatred to them.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Jarvis, Abilene, Tx : 8:24 PM ET
This just tells me that homeland security is really sucks!!! Got the point? Come on, if drugdealers can build a tunnel, what can terrorist do?
Posted By Anonymous Sandra, Miami,FL : 9:18 PM ET
It is amazing that to spend probably a million dollars on this tunnel. We should legalize all drugs and let the Darwin Effect take its course.

As in many other third world nations, border towns like Tijuana reflect some of the worst aspects of human kind. The problem is that life is so cheap, especially for girls and/or children in general in these societies. Certainly it is horrible that countries like Mexico allow sexual exploitation to exist. I am not sure that they have the resources to stop it. It is far worse that the men from "first world", developed nations travel to these countries in order to exploit children. There is the true issue and maybe someone should turn their cameras on the tourists trying to buy the favors of these children.
Posted By Anonymous Star, California : 9:20 PM ET
The US is unwittingly saving terrorists the time and trouble of hijacking planes to kill Americans---we are happily going over to the Middle East and setting ourselves up as target practice. As journalists, you guys should be respected as impartial observers, but we are ALL seen as the enemy due to our nationality. This is a ruthless war, and I am amazed that crazy abductions don't occur more frequently. How do you all manage to stay out of harm's way?!? I admire you (memebers of the media) for your courage--you must all be very passionate about what you do to take such risks. And Anderson, please wear golashes in that tunnel. No telling what you'll step in down there. Yuck!
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Raleigh, NC : 9:51 PM ET
If I may correct you on one issue. You mentioned young girls still working the streets of Tijuana? Really?
There is strict laws in Tijuana and all working girls have health cards which they must be at least 18 to obtain. You can see enforcement officers asking girls for cards and or Ids. If they cannot produce at least one then they spend a night in jail.
The girls you see on the street are unionized and have to deal with morons from the states with special reports that they are young and abused when it is the contrary. They live lavishly and most are older than 21. I live here and many people that come down here for the first time are surprised on how well things are enforced here.
So what did you do? Ask the girls for their ids? I doubt they would even give you the time of the day.

Sorry to rant, you do a good job otherwise but on the age issue you are dead wrong!
Posted By Anonymous R Great, Tijuana : 10:23 PM ET
How does one get in contact with
Sister Dora? Does she have an email address. My thoughts and prayers are with her while she is doing Gods work.
I would love to congradulate her and
give her moral support.
Very sad story about the children and how awful some men can be.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Downey, Ca. : 10:57 PM ET
i really think thats its un believable that the goverment does hardly any thing to stop illegals when i have a wife in india and its been over a year and yet she is trying to come legal and its ben one excuse after another but nothing is done about the others
Posted By Anonymous mike ALT. GA : 11:04 PM ET
While I am in awe at the size of this tunnel, I am not shocked. I would be willing to be that there is another handful of similar tunnels across the Mexican border...and even more across the Canadian border.

Drug trafficing is a big problem in this country these days, but by no means should anyone be surprised. It's what the American public wants now...if it was something else, it would be moving through those tunnels.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Cross River NY : 11:08 PM ET
I guess the story with border issue between U.S and Mexico is very sad. As far as I can judge from being far from the place, I just wish Mexican people and their government to solve the problem it first of all concerns them.
Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Baktygul, Almaty, Kazakhstan : 11:15 PM ET
I don't think you showed a clearer view of the minutemen. Your report was rather one sided. For a moment I thought it was a fox program. You should be proud.
Posted By Anonymous Nathan Ruff, Carlisle, PA : 11:22 PM ET
It is amazing that most of the border is not protected an the also it is amazing how small the border patrol is. According to http://democracyrising.us/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=352 one day in Iraq (about $195 million) could provide about 1100 border patrol agents. To me, that sounds like a bigger issue than spending not much more than that on a multi-year program that expands our knowledge and understanding of the things around us (mission to pluto). So if more border patrol agents could be trained, then tunnels like this could be found earlier, and possibly potential terrorists and other people can be caught so we can get out of Iraq one day earlier, and make it worthwile.
Posted By Anonymous Tim, Houston, TX : 11:32 PM ET
The person that mentioned that guys go overseas for sex tourism, there is a big difference between doing that and having sex with children. In almost every country in the world prostitution is legal, but sex with children is forbidden in all countries and is a terrible crime. Paid sex between two consenting adults is only illegal in the USA.
Posted By Anonymous Lennox, Arlington Virginia : 12:03 AM ET
Another amazing report by Mr. Anderson Cooper.
The tunnels are pretty impressive. I would have a hard time believing that no one noticed it. They did things like this during the prohibition.
Great job Mr. Cooper I look forward to reading more of your blogs and watching 360.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Adleman, Los Angeles, CA : 12:08 AM ET
This is not the first tunnel found, and certainly won't be the last! Its just the biggest, at a time when it's news!! So much for the fence! Maybe a mote?....and a fence? Wonder if the tools were provided by their US employers? Maybe the justice department can serve up some search warrants on any building within sight of the border!
Posted By Anonymous Bob Thompson, Taunton. MA : 12:57 AM ET
Hi Anderson,
After that note, and all that has gone on with journalists risking their lives to report news around the world... I thank you. The local news just isn't enough. My prayers are with you, Doug and Bob, and the journalists in Iraq.
About the tunnel, it doesn't amaze me... how did you think so many people were getting to America with the presence of the "vigilantes" and border patrol? The most disturbing part of this story is that there so many other forms of travel for people to cross the border, and another thought... what would we (American's) do without these "immigrants" or "illegals"? Really, whose country is this?
Posted By Anonymous Veronica, Covina, Ca : 3:14 AM ET
Drug interdiction: I've never known anyone who worked in drug enforcement, whether local, state or federal (and I've known a few), who didn't eventually decide that this is one 'war' we can't win using the law, and that we need to start dealing with drug abuse as a medical and not a legal problem. Just putting that out there.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 4:45 AM ET
Sorry to hear about your colleagues Anderson. Best wishes for their speedy recovery.

A comment a couple up said that the tunnels are not news worthy because they've been around for years. I beg to differ. While it doesn't surprise me that tunnels are being dug under the US/Mexico border to smuggle in drugs and who knows what else it's not something that I had thought about. It's nice to have it reported upon to let the public learn more should they choose to do so.

The sexual exploitation of under aged people is a heart breaking story. I'm glad to see that the PROTECT act tries to curb this at least on the part of American travelers but I am honestly not seeing how it can be enforced properly. The problem is present here in the US. How do you truly to stop people from traveling to places like Taiwan, Bangkok, Mexico or even some European countries to "get a fix"?
Posted By Anonymous Joe Taylor, Fairfax, VA : 7:44 AM ET
Perhaps I'm not as quick as others but I have no idea how these things are built so well. They start at one point and end exactly where they intend to. It must be a very complex system.

I think Jay Leno has it right when he says the city of Boston should hire these people to finish that tunnel that is still under construction. They've been complaining about that tunnel in Boston for as long as I can remember.
Posted By Anonymous Kristen, Gainesville Florida : 7:54 AM ET
Anderson, Welcome to San Diego! Had I known you were coming I would have met you at the airport! I have lived in San diego all my life and the border situation never changes. You did a great job reporting and it's always a pleasure to watch your handsome expressions on your face. As for the tunnel or (tunnels) just another day at the U.S.Mexican Border. Have a shot of tequila in the Gaslamp before you leave town. Stay Safe.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Scott ,El Cajon,Califronia : 11:24 AM ET
When will everyone realize that our federal government is a complete flop. The government does not care what happens to the people. They are only out for themselves. It will be that way until the end of time. I said long before 9/11 that our borders should be closed but no one would listen to me. Now, we are being moved out of our own country by the illegal immigrants. I own my own business and the people that come in to apply are those who can't even speak our language. I will only hire americans. They belong to every color and race on this earth, but they are neat and clean and speak the american language with no trouble. As far as I am concerned, if the immigrants don't like it, go back where you came from.
Posted By Anonymous Tracylyn, Detroit, MI : 12:39 PM ET
There is more to Mexico than Tijuana and the US/Mexico border.

Yes, it is true that we have a lot of problems, ancient problems, and they will not be fixed over night, over a news piece. It is also true that immigration is a BIG problem generated by deep economic and social wounds; as well as the comparison of two very different political structures. People should not have the image of that city and that problem embeded in their minds when tinking of Mexico.
Posted By Anonymous Ruth, Mexico City : 1:18 PM ET
I have to say that I agree with Joe. This is definitely a newsworthy story.

Unfortunately, we've become a society with a very short attention span. If journalists like AC don't put a spotlight on issues like this, we tend to forget about them.

If you are upset because you feel that immigrants are taking jobs away from people who happened to be lucky enough to be born in a country like America; consider this:

Every immigrant who comes to a new country needs to buy new things, such as appliances, clothing, bedding, food, etc. This creates higher demand for these products, and the companies who sell them need to hire more people to support the larger market.

While it's easy to assume that immigrants are going to take jobs away (and let's face it, these people aren't sitting in a bush outside your office building waiting to 'jump' you for your job) they actually create more jobs in the long run.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Stoney Creek, ON : 1:21 PM ET
Anderson.....I am glad you are reporting on stories that are often overlooked. We know the drug traffic has incresed and not much has been done. The tunnel story was shocking (too say the least). But something really must be done to stop the sex trafic of these young girls. We must keep this story in the public eye!!

Stay SAFE!!
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Dallas, TX : 5:33 PM ET
i suppose the tunnel story is more interesting to people who are not from border regions. there are so many tunnels across the border it's not funny, there always have been and unless the socioeconomic situations b/w mexico and the u.s. change, these will continue to be built. someone questioned whether the juarez cartel has a competing tunel; while i have no proof of the existence of one, i would be surprised if there wasn't one. this tunnel is only interesting b/c it is the perfect tunnel illegal imigrants talk about with the glazed eyes and far away look of a crackhead thinking about a mountain of free rock.

while i support any imigrant who wants to come to this country, through whatever means they can, these tunnels need to be fixed. Mexican officials have had to kick out iraqis, who were in mexico illegaly, who were trying to get into the u.s. through their border. if homeland security is as important as our administration has led us to believe it is, then these tunnels need to be found through GPR or whatever technology will work.
Posted By Anonymous nic, el paso, tx : 6:53 PM ET
How is it determined what the "real" reason is, for an American heading overseas? I find it fascinating that the traveler would actually admit that they're going overseas to have sex with a minor!

Has anyone been caught?
Posted By Anonymous Ashley, Vancouver, B.C. Canada : 7:07 PM ET
Sometimes life is like a tunnel from San Diego to Tijuana. In December of last year, while arguing for the decriminalization of drugs, one of the Daily Kos crew wrote, Any pleasure-giving activity has the potential to become a problem. In my case it might be watching Anderson Cooper 360 night after night.
But if last night's edition of 360 didn't convince you that this country's lawmakers need to decriminalize drugs, nothing will. Imagine the time and money it took to secretly build such a sophisticated underground 2,400ft tunnel. To use a few clich's, mind boggling, jaw dropping, astonishing and stupefying come to mind. Fill in the blank to add your own. ____. AC reported that Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents (ICE) have issued warnings to the people who did such backbreaking spirit draining labor for their employers, believed to be Mexican drug cartels: Their lives may be in danger. I wondered how long did it take to make? What tools were used? AC gave his audience a fascinating tour. It began at the origination of the tunnel found in the office of a legitimate looking industrial warehouse. Didn't anyone leasing space or working in or near the building hear loud noise? Imagine the sound of a jackhammer in an enclosed space. Maybe others suspected what was going on and were terrified to investigate?
I started to think about what motivated the people who built the tunnel. Imagine the money it took. I know. You have to spend money to make it. I usually associate such unbelievable determination with love: love of God, love of freedom; love of country or of tribe. I guess I have the romantic notion that something this elaborate and difficult to construct could only be spurred on by love for another person. I guess that's crazy. I know the truth though. Love of money built that tunnel.
Posted By Anonymous Annabelle Echo, Chicago IL : 7:57 PM ET
Having crossed many European borders over the years (including in and out of the former East Germany) I would like to point out some observations.
First - the borders have opened for EU members allowing a French man to work and freely travel to Italy. It does not imply, however, that an immigrant from North Africa shares the same privledge. In fact, on a recent train ride, I witnessed half a dozen young people removed from a train at an open EU border in the Alps for not having proper documentation.
Second - the US is a nation built on immigrants. We should welcome those who come here to build dreams for themselves and their famalies but not as a place to get make a quick buck or use the system. Give us your oppressed and let them prosper.
Finally - I appreciate this blog - let us live in knowledge and not fear!
Posted By Anonymous JK, Los Angeles CA : 8:10 PM ET
Tijuana,Mexico is not the only place that American pedophiles go for fun.
Costa Rica,Panama,El Salvador ,Colombia and even Brasil.
Last year 2 porn movie filmakers with minor girls were arrested in a poverty striken neighborhood in Panama.

The US need to put order in the border.Just because US was a nation founded by inmigrants doesn't mean it has to tolerate illegal inmigration.
Posted By Anonymous M Hinton. Panama City,Panama : 9:34 PM ET
People who prey on children are beyond comprehension. I hope they really crack down and punish those offenders. That tunnel was unbelievable. Did you walk the whole thing?
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Chicago Il : 9:43 PM ET
This is the second tunnel that has been used to transport drugs into the US. Last year there was a tunnel between Canada and Washington that was going to be used to get BC bud into the states. I believe the tunnel was Langley area of BC. thanks,
Posted By Anonymous J Johnson, Okanagan Falls, BC, Canada : 9:56 PM ET
Kerry's rebuttal made me glad I didn't vote for him.
Posted By Anonymous Roger Schweger Mountain Home, AR 72653 : 4:37 PM ET
The tunnel clearly shows are misplaced are the US security priorities. No wonder that Osama Bin Landen is still elusive. Could you imagine what else could have been transported inside that tunnel. God save America.
Posted By Anonymous Ayo, Canada : 6:39 PM ET
Anderson - Have you stopped cold and felt 'a punch to the stomach' for each of the 2,483 Americans killed in Iraq or have you set your Blackberry filter to only allow these feelings when a reporter is injured? Great to know you're one of "us who've been to Iraq".
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Cypress, TX : 8:53 PM ET
a mexican friend (legal) who I meet 15 years ago,still says "just one day rich, no matter the cost".When you are so poor, two or three generations of living in cardboard boxes and begging is all you know, any where is up
Posted By Anonymous charles martinez petersburg alaska : 9:40 PM ET
Enjoyed your blog....would enjoy seeing it everyday...
Posted By Anonymous Janet Thomas Newark DE : 9:50 PM ET
I really enjoy reading Anderson's Blogs. I watch 360 every chance I get. I have been a HUGE fan of Anderson since back when he was on Channel One. He really puts his heart into each and everyone of his stories, and when Hurricane Katrina hit, well, he deserves an award for that. You don't get the impression from Anderson that he's "just there for a story" he really does care. Anderson will be coming to Missouri to speak next month at Columbia College, unfortunately I won't be able to attend. I recommend ANYONE that gets the chance to do this do it.
Posted By Anonymous Brandi, Missouri : 11:35 AM ET
After reading all your blogs on the tunnel I was satisfy that a large percentage of people agree on humanrights and open borders with mexico.
Thank god for the Europeans who live here and experience what is like to live in Europe to knowledge how stupid and ignorant we as Americans look at our neighbours to the south. Drugs will always flow into this country.You will never win that war. Its more lucrative and demanding then we can ever imagine. It keep both countries economy going. So tell me now, who build the tunnel and who is the distributors and who is buying it. I rest my case.
Posted By Anonymous Fernando, San Antonio Tex. : 1:39 PM ET
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A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.


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