California Department of Transportation
Headquarters - Public Affairs Office
August 15, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNITED STATES AND MEXICO DEVELOP PLAN TO CREATE BORDER CROSSING IMPROVEMENTS
HOLLYWOOD – Today at the 26th Annual Border Governors Conference, a joint declaration was reached among the 10 U.S. and Mexican Border States that fosters a renewed commitment to reducing border wait times and improving the secure movement of people, goods and services across the United States-Mexico border. Ten border states are participating in the conference, including California , Arizona , New Mexico and Texas from the United States and the Mexican states of Baja California Chihuahua Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora and Tamaulipas.
The joint declaration is the result of collaborative efforts by the Logistics and International Crossings Work Table, a binational group of government officials from the 10 border states that is offering four recommendations to improve commercial connectivity and enhance the quality of life for people on both sides of the border.
The four recommendations are:
1). Supporting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to obtain funding for additional border crossing inspectors and, along with Mexico’s Institute of Migration, using available funding to immediately fill inspector vacancies at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border. It is also recommended that both agencies consider current and future staffing needs for expanded hours of operation, peak hours, double-stacked inspection booths and additional port projects.
2). Reducing border wait times substantially by the year 2013, and completing Binational State-to-State Regional Border Master Plans among the 10 border states within three years. The plans will facilitate regional and infrastructure planning and strategic resource allocation in the U.S. – Mexico Border Region.
3). Supporting border states’ requests for a Presidential Permit for international crossings, such as the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry in San Diego County that utilizes alternative financing mechanisms to help minimize border wait times.
4). Expanding the number of informational signs posted on the U.S. side of the border to increase public awareness of weapons and ammunition laws. Although some ports of entry have informational warning signs, U.S. travelers entering Mexico today may be unaware of regulations regarding weapons and ammunition and face immediate arrest and severe prosecution.
“Reducing the time it takes for commercial and public transportation to cross the border will reduce the economic losses to both countries caused by delay,” said Worktable co-chair and Caltrans Director Will Kempton. “Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and all Border Governors from the U.S. and Mexico should be commended for taking this bold action.”