Washington - U.S. Customs and Border Protection published on Friday a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to create a new border crossing at Boquillas, Texas, in the Big Bend National Park. The Class B port of entry will help facilitate travel and trade within the Big Bend-Rio Bravo Project area, filling a void of a long stretch of border between Presidio and Del Rio where there is currently no port of entry, and continuing to build on the already robust border security in the area.
"This next step toward the opening of the Boquillas border crossing is a testament to what a spirit of collaboration and a commitment to a shared goal of increased security, travel, and trade can accomplish," said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin.
The decision to begin the process of opening the border crossing is based on extensive CBP analysis, consultation with our Mexican counterparts, and is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that we continue to take steps to enhance security along our borders. The intended plan to re-open the crossing was announced in January by Commissioner Bersin. Working closely with the Department of Interior, the crossing is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.
Boquillas will be a designated Class B port of entry, the first on the southwest border since the creation of CBP which can be used by U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, Mexican Border Crossing Card holders, Canadians, and others exempt from certain documentary requirements with approved Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant documents.
Opening of the crossing will further establish the Big Bend National Park/Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River and the Protected Areas of Maderas del Carmen, Cañón de Santa Elena, Ocampo as an international park by providing an entry point between both countries for scientists, park workers, emergency services and tourists coming to study, protect and enjoy this rare desert ecosystem, while also leveraging cutting edge technologies to enhance security.
The proposed rule will now be made available for public comment to ensure that CBP is able to receive important feedback from stakeholders that can help inform the final decision. The public comment period will begin on the date the notice of proposed rulemaking and will close after 60 days. A final announcement is expected in Spring 2012.
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.