CBP, Consular, Federal and Municipal Officials Dedicate Ready Lane at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge
Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that a Ready Lane will officially open today at the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge. This lane will be dedicated for the exclusive use of travelers with Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant Radio Frequency Identification-enabled travel cards.
Noel Sanchez, assistant director of field operations for the Laredo Field Office and Joe Uribe, acting port director in Laredo, joined Donald Heflin, U.S. consul, Nuevo Laredo; Miguel Angel Isidro, Mexican consul, Laredo; Jose Pedraza, customer service manager, Houston Passport Agency, Department of State; Raul G. Salinas, mayor, city of Laredo; and Mario Maldonado, bridge system director, to announce the opening of the lane and to advise the traveling public about the benefits of using the Ready Lane.
With today's announcement the Laredo Field Office now has four Ready Lanes including lanes in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Donna and Laredo. The Ready Lane in Del Rio has showed a notable 12-second-per-vehicle reduction in processing time and processes a 29-percent share of the bridge's total volume.
The Laredo Ready Lane will open in conjunction with the installation of full LED signage above the lanes, indicating up to three Ready Lanes, as well as a new paint scheme designed to maximize lane optimization. The Ready Lane will be opened on the three westernmost lanes, closest to the southbound toll booths and operate on an as-needed basis seven days a week between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In addition, Mexico's CAPUFE (federal road and bridge authority) has installed signage and erected barriers on the Mexican side to route Ready Lane traffic through the westernmost toll booth known as the SIAVE lane.
"We look forward to enhancing not only the facilitation of lawful travel through the new Ready Lane at the Laredo Port of Entry we also are hopeful the time savings benefit will encourage others to obtain RFID-enabled documents," Uribe said. "The RFID-enabled documents are difficult to falsify and help CBP to deter use of counterfeit documents or attempted entry by impostors to legitimate documents, thereby enhancing border security."
Since implementation of the WHTI on June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens 16 years of age and older, entering the United States by land or sea from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean are required to present a valid WHTI-compliant document.
WHTI-compliant, RFID-enabled travel documents reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border. Over the past year CBP has strongly encouraged travelers to obtain an RFID-enabled travel document such as a U.S. passport card, enhanced driver's license, enhanced identification card (where available) or a trusted traveler program card such as a SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST card to expedite entry and make crossing the border more efficient.
Other RFID-enabled documents that will be accepted at the Ready Lane include newer border crossing cards, those issued or renewed after October 2008 and the newer resident alien card, those that were issued or renewed in 2010. More than 10 million RFID-enabled documents have been issued.
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.