After President Donald J. Trump closed the U.S. southern border with Mexico to non-essential travelers two weeks ago in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is introducing even stricter measures at ports of entry in Texas.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) … advise that they will be modifying the hours of operation for vehicular traffic at select international bridges within LFO operational area, which extends from Brownsville to Del Rio, Texas,” said a CBP press release.
The changes go into effect Monday, and are aimed at high-traffic areas in southwest Texas.
Usually open round the clock, the new schedule for ports of entry in southwest Texas significantly reduces the hours during which northbound traffic will be processed in an effort to stop the community spread of COVID-19:
Eagle Pass International Bridge I: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Falcon Dam International Bridge: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (since April 2)
Rio Grande City International Bridge: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Anzalduas International Bridge: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Sunday. At 4 p.m. the port will cease processing operations and all northbound and southbound traffic will cease.
Free Trade Bridge at Los Indios: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
B&M International Bridge: 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
At Amistad Dam International Bridge, international traffic will be temporarily suspended on April 4.
Southbound traffic from the United States to Mexico remains unaffected.
“These temporary hours changes will enable CBP and SAT to maximize resources, continue our ability to provide essential services to the public and observe necessary safety requirements for our employees across the Laredo Field Office area of operations,” said Randy J. Howe, Director of CBP’s Field Operations in Laredo.
In a rare showing of bipartisanship at the border, local mayors are supportive of CBP’s decision.
“These new hours do not affect our southbound traffic. These are challenging times, but together, we will get through this,” Mission, Texas Mayor Armando O’Caña said, according to The Monitor. “We must do our part to protect ourselves, practice social distancing and follow strict hygiene protocols to safeguard our communities while the bridge remains open for essential business.”
McAllen, Texas Mayor Jim Darling also agreed with the new measures.
“These new hours reflect actual traffic activity when people are crossing into the U.S.,” he said. “It is very important that residents on both sides of the border take care and stay safe during these times.”
CBP has also reduced hours at ports of entry in northern border states like North Dakota, Idaho, Washington, and some states in New England.
Trending Now on We Build the Wall News
CBP Arrests Previously Deported Gang Member With Long Rap Sheet
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced Tuesday that it arrested a foreign gang member who had wreaked havoc across America, committing multiple crimes in multiple states.
“U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a previously deported Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member east of Lukeville, Arizona, late Saturday evening,” according to a press release.
Carlos Flores-Marquez, 37, was caught attempting to cross into the United States through the desert. He admitted to being a member of the brutal Salvadoran MS-13 gang, known for committing heinous and violent crimes in the United States.
He also told agents he had been deported from the United States.
As it turns out, that deportation occurred earlier this year.
During Flores-Marquez’s processing, CBP found that he had “an extensive criminal history in Arizona, Florida and Virginia, where his 2016 arrest led to convictions for multiple felonies in Abermarle County.”
“Flores-Marquez now faces federal prosecution for immigration violations, as he is a previously deported felon,” the press release said.
CBP also explained the process by which it identified illegal aliens.
“All persons apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified,” according to the release.
CBP has said that the amount of interactions will illegal border crossers has sharply declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, and since President Donald J. Trump closed the borders to non-essential travelers.
Still, more than 4,000 would-be illegal aliens are being intercepted by the federal law enforcement entity each month.
Sanctuary State Demands Tighter Border Security Amid COVID Pandemic
The state of California, infamous for its “sanctuary” policies which protect illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities, has called for stricter border security measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, eliciting a response from President Donald J. Trump.
Kristin Gaspar, a San Diego County Supervisor, reportedly sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence saying that medical professionals in the county are “increasingly worried about the rapid spread of COVID-19 in northern Mexico” and that the county has seen “a sudden influx of critically ill patients from Mexico.”
President Trump, a border hawk whom the political left, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, have fought tooth-and-nail in his efforts to secure the U.S. southern border, responded to the news on Twitter.
“Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic! They are sooo lucky that I am their President. Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built!” he said.
Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic! They are sooo lucky that I am their President. Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2020
The acknowledgement from the far-left state that open borders and mass migration might harm Americans is the first of its kind during the Trump presidency.
The border is officially closed to non-essential travelers and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has recorded a sharp decline in interactions with illegal border crossers during the pandemic.
Still, thousands are crossing the border legally at the San Ysidro-Tijuana port of entry, just south of San Diego.
According to Fox News, even large healthcare organizations are calling for tighter border security measures during the pandemic.
The news titan noted that “Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder and Sharp HealthCare COVID‐19 Strategic Response Executive Consultant Daniel Gross wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking for help in dealing with coronavirus cases at the border.”