TIJUANA (Border Report) — Tijuana’s Secretary of Mobility and Transportation and other Baja California officials are asking the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to open more lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as a way to get commuters across the border faster.
Obed Silva Sánchez, Tijuana’s Secretary of Mobility and Transportation, says the long border waits are generated by politics north of the border and not the lack of personnel as CBP has said in the past.
“I’m confident our neighboring country will open more lanes,” said Silva Sánchez. “We have raised the issue hoping the United States can open all the gates going into San Ysidro because their national security strategy implement by CBP is impacting us generating lines that are kilometers-long.”
Silva Sánchez said there really is nothing the city of Tijuana or state of Baja California can do.
“These aren’t excuses nor are we trying to justify the problem, it’s the reality as we try to make the most of this administrative phenomenon that is the product of circumstances beyond our control,” he said. “Our administration can’t influence decisions made by the Americans, we will look at avenues to persuade and find faster crossing times … we will ask the United States to be more flexible to allow more people to cross the border.”
Silva Sánchez stated they are trying to approach the U.S. and lay “facts on the table” hoping changes can be made.
When the San Ysidro Port of Entry was remodeled in 2019, one of the promised benefits was faster crossing times, something that has not materialized as people continue to wait for hours, especially during morning northbound commutes.
In the past, CBP has said it doesn’t have enough personnel to staff all the lanes and the double-stacked inspection booths now in place.
In response to our story and concerns brought up by officials south of the border, CBP issued a statement.
“The San Ysidro Port of Entry is committed to maintaining border security and facilitating legal trade and travel into the U.S.,” wrote CBP spokeswoman Gerrelaine Alcordo. “This requires balancing the resources needed throughout the peak and non-peak travel hours for processing traffic with other enforcement and processing needs at the port of entry. We encourage travelers to check our website for wait times and if possible, to travel during non-peak hours.