POSTED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 5:16pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 7:26pm
EL PASO (KTSM) — Border card visa holders crossing through the Santa Teresa, Columbus and Antelope Wells ports of entry will now have the opportunity to visit more of New Mexico, the new regulation comes after the border commercial zone was extended from 25 to 55 miles.
"now this individuals will no longer be required to come in to the office and apply for these permits they will now just be able to travel Las Cruces or anywhere within the 55 mile zone" Ruben Jauregui CBP public affairs liaison said.
Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima says the city is optimistic about the economic impacts this change could mean for New Mexico.
"if we get a fraction of the population there in Juarez which the estimates that have been given to me as high as 2 million people so if we get a fraction of them, we get 10 percent of that, that's 200 thousand people, that's our whole county here in Doña Ana, so that could be huge just coming here to visit to shop here that be tremendous" Mayor Miyagishima said.
The initiative became a reality after New Mexico authorities and border officials reached an agreement. The deal will help CBP by reducing the amount of paperwork travel requests generate, and the state will benefit economically with more visitors to New Mexico.
"Local authorities in New Mexico as well as CBP working together and looking at things over and it made sense" Jauregui added.
"Even five percent coming over from Juarez here to visit us here in New Mexico in Las Cruces would be most welcomed and would really be huge shot in the arm financially" Miyagishima concluded.