Source: Fox News, By Lawrence Richard, September 19, 2023
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has “temporarily” suspended operations at a port of entry near El Paso so that the personnel can assist in “processing noncitizens” who have arrived at the border, the agency said.
CBP’s El Paso Office of Field Operations announced last week that starting Monday it would temporarily suspend cargo processing at the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) port of entry. The agency did not specify a date when it would return to normal operations, only that it would do so “as quickly as feasible.”
“The temporary suspension at BOTA will allow CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in processing noncitizens who have arrived between the ports of entry including vulnerable populations like families and unaccompanied children,” CBP said in a statement on Friday. “CBP regularly plans for and executes contingency measures, such as this, to support the overarching agency mission and ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in the agency’s custody.”
The statement continued: “The BOTA cargo lot is typically open from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. During the suspension of service, members of the trade community may consider the nearby Ysleta, Santa Teresa, or Marcelino Serna (Tornillo) cargo facilities as alternative entry points.”
Senior leaders at CBP informed stakeholders of the temporary suspension last week. They said it would remain “in communication with stakeholders and provide updates related to these contingency plans as they become available.”
The BOTA land port of entry is located on the international border separating El Paso, Texas from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
The port, one of four crossings in El Paso, connects with the Mexican land port of “Cordova” in Juarez.
Uniquely, the port processes inbound and outbound commercial, non-commercial, and pedestrian traffic without requiring passengers to pay a toll. As a result, the volume of traffic is typically higher than other entry ports.
The BOTA port of entry, initially constructed in 1967, has faced an “increase in truck and vehicular traffic over the last few years has created significant congestion, making it difficult to support this increased volume of traffic,” the U.S. General Services Administration said.
“Most of the buildings and infrastructure are operating at or beyond capacity,” the administration added, noting the dated buildings no longer meet CBP standards.
While the suspension was announced last week, it comes as more than 2,200 migrants illegally crossed the border near Eagle Pass, Texas, overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.
Fox News Digital reached out to CBP’s El Paso Field Office for additional information, but a response was not immediately received.