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Transportation Officials Worry Southbound Border Checks Could Cause Traffic


Aired 4/20/09

Cal Trans officials in San Diego are worried plans on both sides of the border to check vehicles headed south into Mexico could cause traffic jams on San Diego freeways. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently announced plans to screen vehicles headed south to Mexico.

She hasn't said when the program will start nor what it will entail.

Pedro Orzo Delgado directs Caltrans in San Diego.

He's worried the US plan could cause traffic on San Diego freeways.

And he says if Mexican officials move ahead with plans to screen cars on their side of the border, it could cause even longer waits to get into Mexico.

"It is all contingent on how it is implemented. But right now you have an average of 45 to 90 minute waits coming into the US. You could replicate that leaving," says Orzo Delgado.

Mexican customs officials were not available to comment.

Government leaders in both the US and Mexico say screening southbound cars is vital to find guns and money being smuggled south.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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Avatar for user 'Norm'

Norm | September 3, 2009 at 4:35 p.m. ― 7 years, 6 months ago

I am U.S. Citizen living in Tijuana for the last five years as my wife from Argentina is inelligible to enter the U.S. I have a Sentri Pass to enter the U.S. and I usually cross the border around 5:30am with little delay (@15 min. max). The trip back to Tijuana has recently been a nightmare. When U.S. Border Security cuts the entry lanes to two entering Mexico I have waited nearly two hours to get home to my family. With the new screenings that the Mexican government is instituting I fear that one to two hour waits to Tijuana will be commonplace.

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