On Tuesday, Mexican immigration officers began checking the travel documents of anyone trying to enter the United States through the car lanes of the Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana before they get into the United States. The officers, who are part of Mexico’s immigration agency, the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM), will also be working with local law enforcement in Tijuana and the Mexican National Guard.
It’s the start of a pilot program to speed up border crossings and give agents with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the ability to put more focus on travel lanes that are currently used by regular commuters between the United States and Mexico.
At present, CBP has a double layer of officers at the U.S. border, initially at the physical border known as the “limit line,” where individuals driving into the United States are checked for the appropriate travel documents. A short drive after the “limit line” is where additional CBP officers in booths give a more thorough review of a traveler’s documents to determine if they can proceed.
Officials believe the program could be a model to decrease the amount of congestion at other ports of entry as well, “a binational collaboration exercise intended to bring the port of entry to its full potential,” sayid Carlos Gonzales Gutierrez, the consul general of Mexico in San Diego, on Twitter.
Gutierrez added the hope with the pilot program is that CBP will open more crossing lanes between the two countries. “We’re doing this for our own interest. It’s in the interest of Mexico to organize the flows in an orderly way and reduce wait times.”
He goes on to say that the move is meant to protect Mexico’s infrastructure to “accelerate crossings and ensure the port of entry is used for what it should be used for.”
Asylum seekers, which include a growing number of Russians fleeing their country since the beginning of the war with Ukraine, have been taking advantage of the current immigration system along the U.S.-Mexico border by driving into the United States and requesting asylum.
The Epoch Times reached out to CBP for comment on the new program and whether it would also reduce the number of asylees at this particular border crossing, but officials with the agency declined to comment.
The program will run from Tuesday through Jan. 15.
From The Epoch Times