REP. JUAN VARGAS’ STATEMENT ON 10-HOUR BORDER WAIT TIME REPORTS DUE TO RECENT CBP OPERATIONAL CHANGES
San Diego, CA (August 25, 2020) – Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) released the following statement in response to San Diego Union Tribune reporting up to 10 hours in border crossing wait times. Last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) made operational changes at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa and Calexico West Land Ports of Entry in efforts to discourage leisure travelers from traveling to and from Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. The operational changes, however, more than double the average wait time for essential travelers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday.
“It is critical that our essential workers traveling to and from the U.S.-Mexico border cross in an efficient and timely manner. Lane reductions and other operational changes implemented by CBP on August 21, 2020 are impacting essential workers’ ability to get to work. In some reports, essential workers were forced to miss their entire shifts due to the long waiting periods.
“CBP’s operational changes were implemented without consideration for how these changes would impact essential workers. Ten-hour border wait times are simply unacceptable. Individuals are crossing to do essential work and take part in supporting our economy. They shouldn’t be faced with sudden and unnecessary surges in border wait times.
“The new changes are another attempt to divert attention from Trump’s failure to address the COVID-19 pandemic. CBP must re-evaluate these changes and ensure that essential travelers and workers are not further affected. Our economy depends on it!”'
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress.