LAREDO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is announcing that the agency will employ some time-tested measures along with trusted traveler programs and Ready Lanes to help facilitate the annual surge in northbound traffic anticipated at South Texas ports of entry over the approaching Holy Week period.
“We are expecting a significant increase in traffic at all of our international bridges over the forthcoming Holy Week period and want to advise the traveling public that we stand ready to implement measures designed to facilitate lawful trade and travel while maintaining a vigilant border security posture,” said Noel Sanchez, Acting Director, Field Operations, Laredo Field Office.
The measures are designed to be able to process a larger than normal volume of travelers seeking tourist permits to travel into the interior of the U.S. while facilitating the daily commuter traffic flows. These flows are expected to increase since many are on leave from work or school.
CBP still strives to temper the facilitation measures with security, always upholding CBP’s anti-terrorism mission. CBP will monitor traffic volumes at international bridges across South Texas and stands ready to post additional officers to ensure all available lanes are open, commensurate with traffic flow.
In addition, CBP will encourage SENTRI members to utilize SENTRI lanes and for travelers that have radio-frequency identification technology (RFID)-equipped travel documents such as U.S. passport cards and the newer versions of the border crossing card and resident alien card to utilize the Ready Lanes.
In Laredo and Brownsville, CBP advises travelers to tune in to AM 1610 to listen to repeating radio broadcasts of important tips in English and Spanish regarding documents necessary to cross, enrollment in the SENTRI program and other useful traveler tips. The 10-watt signal can be heard several miles north and south of the international bridges in Laredo and Brownsville.
Lastly, since Easter is fast approaching, CBP is reminding the traveling public that cascarones (confetti-filled eggshells) are restricted to quantities of 10 per passenger and the shells may be decorated or etched but they must be empty, clean and free of any egg residue.
Cascarones are a restricted commodity by CBP in order to prevent further spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) through contaminated eggshells. END is a highly contagious, fatal viral disease that affects a substantial number of bird species, attacking respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. Mortality is up to 90 percent of exposed birds.
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.