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 for the summer vacation, which typically increases border crossings 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.
“Building from the success realized during Holy Week 2015, when an outreach campaign inspired more travelers to get their tourist permits early, the Laredo Field Office is reprising that same proactive approach to facilitate the expected surge in traffic during the summer travel season this year by reaching out to the traveling public via radio public service announcements. These announcements encourage travelers to get their I-94s early, urge frequent border crossers to enroll in SENTRI and those with RFID-enabled documents to use the Ready Lanes in addition to operational facilitation measures,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.
The radio 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 will post its wait times online for traveler notification.
If arriving by land this summer, travelers are encouraged to download the Border Wait Time app. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). Travelers can download the app for free from Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
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.
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.