Boquillas Border Crossing Marks First Anniversary April 10
BOQUILLAS, Texas – The new Boquillas international crossing will mark its first anniversary later this week. The facility opened to the public April 10, 2013, and on the first day of operation a total 96 people entered the U.S. legally at the Boquillas border crossing.
“We have processed more than 7,800 travelers during the first year of operation,” said David Higgerson, CBP Director of Field Operations in El Paso. “I expect the numbers to grow in the years ahead as more members of the traveling public become aware that this facility is open, adding another element to a visit to the Big Bend National Park.”
On average CBP officers process about 31 people per day at the Boquillas crossing. Data shows that the crossing is growing in popularity. The busiest month to date was March 2014 when a total of 1,363 people entered from Mexico. The busiest date recorded so far was March 13 when 143 people arrived at the facility. There were six other dates during the first year of operation when CBP processed more than 100 international travelers.
The official crossing provides access to Boquillas, Coahuila, as well as the protected areas of Maderas del Carmen, Ocampo and Cañon de Santa Elena in Mexico, filling a void of a long stretch of border between Presidio and Del Rio where there is currently no port of entry, and continuing to build on the already robust border security in the area.
Individuals entering Mexico from the U.S. who expect to cross back into the U.S. via the Boquillas crossing will be required to have a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative approved document. This would include a U.S. passport, passport card, or other WHTI-approved document.
The port of entry uses cutting-edge technologies to enhance security. Pedestrians can access the port between 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. No vehicles are allowed to cross.
Visitors entering the U.S. will do so in the new U.S. National Park Service interagency facility, which is staffed by Park Service personnel during hours of operation. Arriving visitors will have access to two kiosks to transmit travel document and identification information to CBP. Visitors will then be interviewed by a CBP officer located in El Paso, Texas via a remote link.
The decision to open the state of the art border crossing was based on extensive CBP analysis, consultation with Mexico, and is part of CBP’s ongoing commitment to ensure that the agency continue to take steps to enhance security along our borders.
Security for the port and the surrounding area is provided by U.S. National Park Service rangers and U.S. Border Patrol agents. National Park Service personnel are on hand in the interagency facility during all hours of port operation.
To date, CBP officers working the remote kiosks have encountered a single violation. In October 2013 CBP officers clearing an arriving pedestrian noted that the person had an active NCIC warrant. All appropriate law enforcement contacts were made and the subject was detained and taken into custody by a National Park Service officer without incident.
While April 10 marks the actual anniversary date, the National Park Service is planning a celebration of the first anniversary at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 19. The village of Boquillas, Mexico, will also celebrate the same day, with music and food available at several restaurants.
The celebration will include a short presentation followed by refreshments, and will conclude about noon. Visitors coming for the celebration only, and not crossing into Mexico, are asked to park at the Rio Grande Village Store and parking lot starting at 10 a.m. A short shuttle will be provided to the Boquillas Port of Entry from the Rio Grande Village Store. A return shuttle will be provided after the celebration. On the day of the celebration, visitors wishing to cross over to Boquillas, Mexico, are invited to park at the Port of Entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.