After nearly 20 months, CBP Officials expect long lines as borders reopen

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Nov. 8 was a big day for border communities as the United States reopened the international U.S.-Mexico border for non-essential travel for those fully vaccinated, after nearly 20 months.

A CBP official says they are already bracing for the long lines in the days ahead.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, along with CBP official Elias Rodriguez who is the Public Affairs Liaison for the Port of Brownsville, said the lines on the first day were nothing new and were anticipated. 

“It seems to be, at least the first day, seems to be very normal and orderly,” said Judge Cortez. 

Rodriguez says he doesn’t suspect the lines will stay short during the week or on the holidays. 

“However it is a weekday so we think it could increase as the evening goes by or on the weekend when more people are off work and able to travel,” said Rodriguez

Furthermore, Rodriguez says should traffic back up, there is a system they use to keep the lines moving. 

“We monitor the wait times and make an informed decision based on those wait times on how many lanes to open,” said Rodriguez.

CBP and travelers can keep track of wait times Rodriguez says by downloading an app on their phone called “Border Wait Times.”

As the borders reopen, he suggests travelers check their required documents to make sure they are up to date, and any traveler planning to stay for more than 30 days will need additional documentation. 

For more information go to

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Community Stories