Travel Restrictions at Land Ports of Entry

Following the extension of U.S. travel restrictions impacting land ports of entry until at least May 21, the Department of Homeland Security is undergoing an evaluation of metrics that would allow for a resumption of travel. According to a report by CNBC, the White House is looking toward the middle of May to relax restrictions across the Mexican and Canadian borders and on inbound travel from the UK, Europe, and Brazil.

The Chamber joined the Border Trade Alliance and U.S. business leaders in urging the federal government to lift travel restrictions on non-essential travel at our land port of entry. These restrictions continue to harm our economy and border communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially impacting small businesses and our cross-border workforce.

In Mexico, the federal government also implemented travel restrictions on nonessential travel across its southern borders. This action came as Mexico is under pressure to reduce the U.S.-bound migration from Central America. Baja Governor Bonilla issued a statement to confirm no action has been or is planned to be taken at our regional ports of entry.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has introduced Simplified Arrival at all of the pedestrian border crossings in the Rio Grande Valley ports of entry. The enhanced arrival process uses biometric facial comparison technology to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. CBP officers will now be able to match the traveler’s passport photo from online government files helping to speed up international arrival processing.

As we continue to move toward economic recovery, we ask for your input on the

financial implications of streamlined cross-border trade processing at land ports of entry for the business sector. Please take a few minutes to respond to an online survey with The George Washington University here.