BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Border crossing delays at international bridges in the Rio Grande Valley are causing frustration in the community and businesses.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saying there may be additional delays for the remainder of the month.
“From now through September 30, 2022, CBP’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) expects potential increases in border wait times due to necessary operational adjustments to close out the fiscal year, especially at our busiest ports of entry locations,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Brownsville Field Operations Public Affairs Liaison, Elias Rodriguez said.
The wait times at the border crossings are affecting people that frequently cross.
Kate Amieva, a Brownsville and Matamoros resident, crosses the bridge on a daily basis.
“I’m going to get affected because of school. School starts at 8:45 for me and I have to wake up like at 5 in the morning to make the whole line. It’s going to take forever,” Amieva said.
Amieva says she has a plan and recommendation for everyone crossing.
“Wake up early, wake up early if you have things to do over here because they take long,” she said.
The line at the Brownsville-Matamoros bridge can take up to 90 minutes.
“When they come in a car, sometimes the line for a car is also one or two hours,” Matamoros resident, Luis Antonio Berzosa-Jimenez, said.
The wait times are also affecting businesses in downtown Brownsville.
“I’ve had customers that tell me they come over here to shop because it’s a little cheaper but sometimes they would rather come another day when there’s a shorter line or sometimes they’re upset because they’re waiting two or three hours in line,” said Paola Nuñez, the manager of Lupita’s Inc.
Nuñez also crosses the bridge daily and personally understands the frustration.
The delay in crossing on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. was up to 45 minutes. At Anzalduas International Bridge, delays of up 90 minutes were expected.
According to the statement from CBP, the delays come after “increased expenditures to cover COVID-related staffing shortages and increased efforts to mitigate effects on the supply chain.”
The statement also said, “These early efforts, along with a continued focus on national security and enforcement, has led to a limited budget for the end of the fiscal year. This limited budget will result in the shifting of resources to balance operations amongst OFO’s vast, unpredictable, and dynamic mission set.”