El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reintroduced designated student lanes at the downtown Paso Del Norte (PDN) international crossing. Beginning this morning, students will be able to use the designated lanes between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. daily when school is in session.
"We've noted an increase in pedestrian traffic early in the mornings and felt that the reintroduction of this service will allow us to more efficiently process this relatively low risk group of border crossers," said CBP, El Paso Port Director, William Molaski,. "The students will still be subject to inspection and we anticipate regular canine support to ensure that the lane is not compromised."
CBP intends to direct student pedestrian crossers to lanes 1-3, which are the easternmost lanes in the facility. Signage guiding students to the appropriate lanes will be posted and CBP officers will help direct students to the appropriate lanes. Students should be prepared to show appropriate entry documents to the CBP officer at the time they are making entry. The lane was suspended in December of last year. It was originally launched three years ago this month.
CBP also recommends pedestrians, who use PDN regularly and are seeking a consistently speedy entry, to enroll in the SENTRI program. This Trusted Traveler Program is available to anyone including non-U.S. citizens. The cost to apply is $122.25 and if the applicant passes a CBP background check they are enrolled in the program for five years, which translates to less than seven cents a day. The SENTRI lane is generally vacant even though the program has been in place for one year.
Information on SENTRI including English and Spanish application materials can be found on the CBP Web site.
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.