CBP in San Diego and Imperial Valley Issues Traffic Advisory for Easter Weekend
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reminding travelers in the San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties who are planning trips out of or into the United States to ensure they have the required entry documents and to anticipate increased traffic at land border crossings during Easter weekend.
"Historically, we see an increase in cross border traffic during most holidays including Easter," said Director of Field Operations, Chris Maston. "We want travelers to have as much information as possible to aid in reducing their wait time and improve their border crossing experience."
During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative entry routes. For example, border crossers may want to use the nearby and less heavily traveled Otay Mesa or the Tecate ports of entry instead of the San Ysidro port.
Last year during Easter weekend at San Ysidro we experienced peak times throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday afternoon into the evening. During those peak travel times, the wait times at the Otay Mesa and Tecate border crossings were significantly less.
At both Calexico ports, border crossers experienced peak wait times on Friday and long wait times on Saturday. On Sunday, on average, wait times at Calexico east were about half that of the downtown port. At the Andrade port of entry last year, the wait times over the weekend were at least half of the wait times at the Calexico ports of entry.
Travelers can also take a few simple steps to help CBP facilitate their entry or re-entry into the U.S. Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth by having their entry documents ready to present to the CBP officers and by being prepared to declare all items accompanying the traveler.
"Prepared travelers help reduce wait times, while allowing CBP officers to be more efficient as we process travelers during periods of high traffic volume," said Maston.
Members of the traveling public should consult the CBP website site to monitor border wait times, or on your mobile Smartphone. (BWT) (BWT Mobile) Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light usage and or shorter waits.
Travelers may also monitor wait time information hourly for the San Ysidro border station by calling (619) 690-8999, for the Otay Mesa border station by calling (619) 671-8999 and for the Tecate border station by calling (619) 938-8300. For the Calexico ports, travelers may call (760) 768-2383, and for the Andrade border station call (760) 572-0089.
For travelers with CBP officials continually monitor traffic and border crossing times and will employ various traffic management operations to maintain the flow of traffic during periods of exceptionally heavy usage.
U.S. citizens must present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) approved document that denotes citizenship and identity such as a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, trusted traveler program card (SENTRI and NEXUS), or an enhanced driver's license from participating states. Legal Permanent Residents must present their I-551 legal permanent resident card. U.S. travelers 15 years of age and younger can present just a birth certificate.
For other travelers, be prepared to present a valid passport with a valid visa or Border Crossing Card/Laser Visa.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.