TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Port of Nogales experienced travel delays Tuesday evening November 26 after vehicle lane closures.
Vehicle lanes approaching the United States from Mexico were reduced at both DeConcini and Mariposa crossings following a significant increase of asylum seekers using vehicle lanes to circumvent the immigration process.
Individuals without proper documentation attempted to evade inspection by running through vehicle lanes disrupting normal operations. This resulted in the closure of lanes and increased wait times.
In partnership with CBP, the Government of Mexico has increased their presence and enforcement efforts to prevent the incursions from occurring. State and local law enforcement agencies will also assist with security efforts.
“These tactics quickly raised the number of individuals being held at the port of entry.” said Guadalupe Ramirez, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Non-compliance with proper procedures overwhelms the ports of entry and jeopardizes the safety and security of our employees and public. We will not allow ports to be overrun, and are prepared for large groups and caravans attempting to violate our security measures.”
The Port of Nogales expects to return to full operations by Wednesday afternoon. However, if incursions continue, security measures will be put in place.
CBP officials understand and recognize the importance of the upcoming holiday season and the impact these enforcement measures will have to the local community and State of Arizona, however, the reduction of lanes and/or reallocation of officers for security measures may be necessary.
CBP has seen mass incursion attempts at the ports of entry previously, some of which were used as diversions by criminal organizations attempting to smuggle illicit items across the border.
Travelers may see officers exercising security measures in Nogales over the next few days for operational security readiness.
For the most current information on port wait times visit bwt.cbp.gov.