CBP migrant strategy causing longer bridge wait times


Traveling from Juarez to El Paso is taking a long time and that might not change any time soon.

The reassignment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to help deal with the rising number of migrants coming to El Paso is causing long delays at the ports of entry.

Car after car, we asked drivers how long they had been waiting to cross. 

“It’s pretty far, it’s pretty packed probably a good two hours,” said one motorcyclist. “Right now it’s even worse because of the side block. Yeah, it’s pretty bad back there.” 

Commuters crossing El Paso’s International Ports of Entry say they’ve had to wait about three hours
a commute the say usually takes about half an hour to an hour. 

As CBP reassigned officers to help with migrants, there are now fewer lanes to process travelers. 

“There are only four lanes open,” another commuter said. “Two on each side, two toll booths open. The rest is all closed.” 

The move was announced earlier this week by CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

“We’re redirecting 750 officers from key roles at our ports of entry,” he said during a news conference earlier this week. “El Paso knows what those six bridges mean in that daily commerce with Mexico. We need those officers now though, to help Border Patrol agents care for migrants.”

Those officers will be from El Paso, Laredo, San Diego and Tucson.

“We need those officers now though, to help Border Patrol agents care for migrants,” McAleenan said. “CBP officers will be helping with processing, transportation and hospital watch.

“There will be impacts to traffic at the border, there will be a slowdown in the processing of trade, there will be wait time increases in our pedestrian and passenger vehicle lanes.”

Meaning these long lines could go on for weeks. However, that delay is not appearing to affect pedestrian lanes. One man told KTSM he parked his car and walked over faster 

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