CBP prepares for Easter holiday traffic influx

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:54 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The Easter festivities may be a week away, but bridge officers are getting ready for the anticipated influx in traffic.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Holy Week is one of their busiest travel periods of the year. In order to facilitate the flow of traffic, they are asking travelers to obtain their tourist permits and have their documents in order to reduce the inspection time at the bridges.

CBP is also preparing to have more officers at the inspection sites to reduce wait time. Rick Pauza with CBP said, “Starting this Friday, March 31, we will open additional lanes here at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in the old import lot. We will open it up on an ‘on-needed’ basis depending on the level of traffic we have. We can open three to four lanes depending on the traffic volume. We advise the traveling public to prepare.”

CBP has opened up an area at the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo where people can go and register for documents they will need to travel for the Easter holiday. They will remain open until April 19.

Below is the full press release from CBP:

As the nation begins Holy Week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) Laredo Port of Entry will soon begin to process larger volumes of international travelers to the United States through the South Texas border. The increase in traffic is due to the upcoming Holy Week (Semana Santa), which is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

“Our frontline CBP officers and agriculture specialists are preparing for the wave of Holy Week holiday passenger vehicle traffic,” said Port Director Alberto Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “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 Laredo Port of Entry will implement a variety of effective measures to facilitate a smooth, orderly traffic flow, including electronic tourist permits, and a satellite, off-site I-94 processing facility, located on the second floor of the Outlet Shoppes of Laredo from Mar. 26 – Apr. l9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. 7 p.m. on Sundays. CBP at Juarez- Lincoln Bridge will be opening additional lanes at the old CBP Import Lot (located below the bridge) starting Friday, Mar. 31 on an as-needed basis to process given amounts of vehicular traffic.

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.

To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics and the CBP One™, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services.

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.

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