SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Hours-long border waits for people heading into the U.S. in the morning are the norm at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, but now commuters are facing similar delays when returning to Mexico in the evening.
Over the last few weeks, drivers have been reporting up to three-hour delays to cross the border into Tijuana from San Diego.
Joaquín Luken, of the Smart Border Coalition, said Mexican soldiers who oversee crossings into Mexico, are only opening six to eight of the 21 available lanes.
“The long lines have been happening in recent weeks, something that is unprecedented,” he said. “You might see this on a Friday night or during the holidays, but never like this.”
Luken stated that the southbound lanes on Highway 805 and Interstate 5 become parking lots when they converge at the border.
“The long lines keep visitors from visiting and enjoying the region and it affects the binational dynamic,” he said. “No one is going to spend three hours in line to go visit friends. The crossing is inhibiting commerce instead of aiding in the promotion of our economy and culture.”
Mexico’s customs agency says the delays are being caused by a modernization project at the crossing involving the installation of new technology and not the lack of personnel.
It did not say how much longer it expects the work and delays to continue.