CBP Announces Facilitation Measures to Expedite Processing of Summer Travel Season Traffic at South Texas Ports of Entry
LAREDO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo Field Office is announcing that the agency is preparing to open available lanes as needed along with encouraging travelers to obtain their tourist permits early, for frequent crossers to consider enrolling in trusted traveler programs or using Ready Lanes in advance of the expected surge in northbound traffic at South Texas ports of entry over the approaching summer travel season, one of the busiest times of the year.
“We are reaching out to the traveling public through all available outlets, including radio public service announcements, print, television and social media to encourage them to obtain tourist permits early, obtain radiofrequency enabled documents to utilize Ready Lanes, enroll in trusted traveler programs to facilitate their CBP processing at our ports of entry this summer,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.
The outreach will also encourage 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 and for travelers to have their entry documents ready as they approach the booth to facilitate their processing.
Facilitation measures such as opening lanes commensurate with traffic flow are designed to enable processing of 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.
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 that available lanes are open, commensurate with traffic flow. In some locations, Border Patrol agents will augment existing staffing for traffic control.
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 Secure Electronic Network for Travelers’ Rapid Inspection (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.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times on the website or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play so that they can observe the wait times and make an informed decision on which bridge to use. These wait times are updated on an hourly basis.
Also to avoid any potential delays or fines due to travelers bringing prohibited/restricted agricultural items, CBP encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items to a CBP officer upon arrival and before making their journey to consult the Know Before You Go guide.
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.