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Sanders in DC to push for border crossing expansion

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Aired 4/19/09

City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders met with four California congressional representatives in Washington D.C. Tuesday to push for expanding the San Ysidro Port of Entry and for a new border crossing. Sanders says educating elected officials has been a major part of his mission. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Many have questioned the timing of Sanders' trip to Washington to call for speeding up border crossings when some lawmakers are calling for taller fences and sealing off the border with Mexico.

Sanders says talk about borders is quickly conflated with illegal immigration. And he and Baja California Governor Eugenio Elorduy have spent a lot of time educating people about the daily realities of the legal cross-border flow in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

The San Diego Area Association of Governments have found that the border waits right now in San Diego are costing the region about four point two billion dollars a year in lost economic opportunities.

Sanders' spokesman says Elorduy has been showing lawmakers photos of the traffic to help them understand.

Customs officials say though they say they meet regularly with leaders from Texas and Arizona, this is the first time they've met with a San Diego region delegation. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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