EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso port of entry is anticipating heavier than normal traffic this holiday weekend. CBP is encouraging border crossers to be “Ready Travelers” in anticipation of the busy period by adopting the tips below.
CBP is also sharing the schedule when all inspection lanes will be opened and staffed under the All Lanes Open Initiative. CBP is advising travelers that the public-private partnership between CBP and the city of El Paso is employed at some locations during limited periods of the week. CBP also reminds travelers that they can monitor current traffic conditions at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta bridges at an El Paso city website.
“We will closely monitor traffic patterns and adjust staffing as needed to keep traffic moving as quickly as possible,” said Francis Brown, CBP Acting El Paso Port Director. “The impact of any holiday at border crossing points is no different than at area stores, restaurants and roadways. There will be more people than normal and travelers should expect that and prepare accordingly.”
CBP will be extending its hours on the All Lanes Open Initiative (ALOI) in anticipation of higher traffic volume for the Labor Day weekend for all vehicular and pedestrian lanes. The ALOI will be in effect Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.
This is a temporary adjustment to address this weekend as the All Lanes Open Initiative will go back to its regular hours of operation on Tuesday. Staffing all vehicular and pedestrian lanes will return to the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday; Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
In addition to the ALOI the city of El Paso is providing funding to CBP which allows the agency to staff additional lanes at area border crossings. Travelers can observe current traffic conditions at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta bridges on the city of El Paso website.
In addition to the local information CBP is encouraging travelers this summer to be a “Ready Traveler” by following these travel tips.
- Travelers can monitor wait times of land border crossings at bwt.cbp.gov. The information is updated hourly and can be useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
- Travelers can take additional steps to smooth their arrivals process by familiarizing themselves with U.S. rules and regulations before departing to avoid potential penalties and fines. A downloadable checklist is available that can be accessed on your smartphone or device so you can be a “Ready Traveler” when traveling internationally.
- Have all the required travel documents for the country you are visiting, as well as identification for re-entry to the United States. Passports are required for air travel. Visit www.travel.state.gov for country-specific information.
- Know the difference between prohibited merchandise (which is forbidden by law to enter the U.S.) and restricted merchandise (items needing special permit to be allowed into the U.S.). For more information, please visit the Restricted/Prohibited section of the CBP website.
- Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and/or firewood into the United States without first checking whether they are permitted. For more information, please visit the Bringing Agricultural Products into the United States section of the CBP website.
- Understand that CBP officers can inspect you and your personal belongings without a warrant. This may include your luggage, vehicle, and personal searches and is meant to enforce our laws as well as protect legitimate travelers.
- Monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. Travelers are encouraged to plan their trips during periods of lighter traffic or to use an alternate, less heavily traveled port of entry. For more information, travelers can find up-to-date wait time information on the CBP website.
- If you are a frequent international traveler and haven’t already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit the Trusted Traveler section of the CBP website.
- Familiarize yourself with the “Know Before You Go” brochure or section of the CBP website.