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Border & Immigration

CBP to close PedWest border crossing during busy holiday season

People using PedWest to cross into the U.S. San Ysidro, Calif. Jan., 9, 2023. After nearly three years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reopened a pedestrian crossing from Tijuana into San Diego. The PedWest crossing was closed at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, but when the travel restrictions were lifted it was not reopened. Thousands of asylum seekers made a makeshift camp on the Mexican side of the PedWest crossing hoping to be some of the first to cross when the crossing reopened. Mexican authorities eventually cleared the camp and moved the asylum seekers to other parts of Tijuana. Few people used PedWest to cross into the U.S. Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, but authorities expect that to increase as more learn the crossing is now open.
Matthew Bowler
People using PedWest to cross into the U.S. San Ysidro, Calif. Jan., 9, 2023.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will temporarily close the PedWest crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as of 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Why it matters

After nearly three years of being closed during the pandemic, PedWest was reopened for limited hours in January, expediting crossings.

This marked its second temporary closure in 2023, following a closure in September.


Waits to cross at San Ysidro can already stretch for hours for commuters, shoppers and day-trippers, and the holiday season is one of the border's busiest.

By the numbers

San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason M-B Wells says 800 businesses within 2 miles of PedWest generate much of their annual sales from Nov. 20 to Jan. 6.

Closer look

CBP intends to reassign agents who would have staffed the crossing as asylum applicants continue to arrive at the border in large numbers.

The decision to close PedWest was criticized by Wells, San Diego city officials and several members of the region's congressional delegation.


"This is a punch in the gut at the worst possible time," Wells told KPBS. "On the boulevard, 95% of their clients come from Mexico; on this side, the outlet side, 65% come from Mexico. This isn't just about Christmas sales: This is about students trying to get to school on time, this is about people visiting their families, this is about Americans getting to work."

In a statement released to the media on Friday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said: "Reducing staffing levels during the busiest time of the year will deal an enormous blow to San Diego’s economy and upend the holiday season for families who celebrate together on both sides of the border.”

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, whose district includes San Ysidro, said: "Redirecting agents away from our region will increase wait times during the busiest season of the year, and closing PedWest is a gut punch to the residents and businesses that just celebrated its reopening three weeks ago. The closure of PedWest, and the expected increase in wait times, will affect families wishing to visit loved ones during the holidays and impact the regional economy. This decision must be reversed immediately."