LAREDO, Texas — As the nation begins Holy Week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) is starting to process larger volumes of international travelers to the United States through the South Texas ports of entry.
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.
“Our frontline CBP officers and agriculture specialists are already beginning to experience an initial wave of Holy Week holiday passenger vehicle traffic,” said Director of Field Operations Randy J. Howe, Laredo Field Office. “We strongly encourage travelers to utilize the CBP One app to obtain tourist permits in advance, consult the border wait times before they travel and choose their border crossing port location accordingly.”
The South Texas ports of entry implement a variety of effective measures to facilitate a smooth, orderly traffic flow, including electronic tourist permits, expanded processing hours where possible, 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 April 8-23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sundays.
Travel by noncitizens with valid entry documents for nonessential reasons at land border ports of entry resumed on Nov. 8, 2021. At the time, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminded these travelers to be prepared to (1) provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.
Returning U.S. citizens and lawful permanent U.S. residents are exempted from this requirement.
U.S. citizens are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or Enhanced Tribal Card, when re-entering the United States and should be prepared to present a WHTI-compliant document if requested by a CBP Officer during a border inspection. Any non-citizen attempting to enter the United States through illegal means or without appropriate documentation may be subject to expulsion or removal.
CBP encourages all travelers to have their WHTI-compliant entry documents in hand as they approach primary inspection booths and to declare all agricultural items, liquor, and currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000.
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.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and also U.S. Customs and Border Protection at @CBPSouthTexas for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.