After over a year of travel restrictions impacting land ports of entry, Texas Representative Henry Cuellar introduced a bill to establish a Land Port of Entry Modernization Trust Fund. H.R. 3028 would specifically create a trust fund within the U.S. Treasury for investments in land ports of entry in order to:
- Build new land ports of entry;
- Expand and improve existing land ports of entry to accommodate high volumes of commercial, private vehicle, and pedestrian traffic;
- Procure technology and supporting infrastructure to facilitate the inspection and processing of commercial, private vehicle, and pedestrian traffic;
- Facilitate major repairs and alterations of land ports of entry; and
- Hire U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, agricultural specialists, and professional staff to support the trade and revenue mission of CBP.
The bill is expected to figure into the debate over a larger infrastructure bill over the next few months.
In our region, CALTRANS and Baja’s Secretariat of Infrastructure and Urban Development (SIDURT) released the California-Baja California Border 2021 Master Plan (BMP). Developed in collaboration with regional stakeholders including the Chamber, the plan aims to coordinate planning and delivery of ports of entry and transportation infrastructure projects serving the ports in our region. The plan provides five key recommendations with action items to reach each goal, including the expansion of border collaboration and coordination, and to manage the border as a system.