Laredo Field Office Ports of Entry Continue Enforcement Posture, Facilitation Measures in Preparation for Increased Holiday Traffic
LAREDO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) continues to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in caravans as well as that of lawful tourist travelers to the United States through the Southwest border.
The eight ports of entry extending from Brownsville to Del Rio that comprise the Laredo Field Office (LFO) prepare for the increase in traffic with the approach of Holy Week (Semana Santa), one of the busiest travel periods of the year.
CBP is continually assessing the capabilities of our facilities and has been making — and will continue to make — necessary preparations. Preparations include participating in operational readiness exercises and the mobilization of resources, as needed, to ensure the facilitation of lawful trade and travel.
“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists are the nation’s frontline of defense against all threats,” said Director of Field Operations, David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office. “As they continue to train to respond to incidents at the ports of entry, our priority remains the safety and security of the American people, international travelers, and our communities while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
Mobile Field Force (MFF) deployments and practical exercises are designed to train officers on CBP’s special response tactics continue to take place within the LFO ports of entry. As the men and women of CBP conduct these drills, it is important for the traveling public to be aware of high visibility operations.
Additionally, the ports of entry implement a variety of effective measures to facilitate a smooth, orderly traffic flow, including designated lanes, electronic tourist permits, expanded processing hours and satellite, off-site tourist permit processing sites. In Laredo, CBP operates an off-site I-94 processing facility at the second floor of the Outlet Shoppes of Laredo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; the mall is closed on Sunday.
CBP also encourages travelers to obtain and utilize radio-frequency identification technology (RFID)-equipped travel documents such as U.S. passport cards and the newer versions (i.e. since 2011) of the border crossing card and resident alien card so that they can utilize Ready Lanes. Processing in Ready Lanes is 20 percent faster than normal lanes and provide a time savings of up to 20 seconds per vehicle. Those who have renewed their entry documents within the last 24 months already have radiofrequency identification enabled documents (RFID) and may not know it. CBP encourages travelers to obtain RFID entry documents to use Ready Lanes and enroll in trusted traveler programs.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times via this link 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 at the following link.
For more information about filing an I-94 electronically, please consult the following link.
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 securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.