Congressional Representatives tour San Ysidro Land Port of Entry
By Javier Fernandez
On April 19, 2013, Representatives Susan Davis (CA-District 53), Scott Peters (CA-District 52), and Juan Vargas (CA-District 51) toured the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry (LPOE). GSA Regional Administrator Ruth Cox, Project Executive Scott Shin, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Director Pete Flores briefed the congressional delegation, providing an overview of the port expansion and reconfiguration project, current construction status, staffing levels, and operational efficiency initiatives.
The group had an opportunity to see firsthand the Phase 1 construction components that have been completed (the pedestrian bridge and southbound pedestrian crossing on the east side of the port), as well as the improvements that are ongoing. GSA is currently making improvements to the primary vehicle inspection lanes (adding double-stacked booths) and the secondary vehicle inspection area and canopy. While Phase 1 has received full funding, Phases 2 and 3 of the project are still awaiting funding.
On April 10, Representatives Davis, Peters and Vargas issued a joint news release announcing that $226 million for the San Ysidro LPOE expansion project’s Phase 3 was included in President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal. These members of the San Diego congressional delegation, with the support of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, led the way in urging the president to include this funding in his budget.
“This project is critical to the economic security of our region,” said Davis in the news release. “Promoting and sustaining economic growth should be our top priority. We can’t get there unless we make critical investments in our nation’s ports of entry.”
During the tour, the congressional representatives acknowledged the importance of the San Ysidro LPOE as a key economic engine for the binational region and expressed continued support of the project.
The San Ysidro LPOE is a major gateway between the United States and Mexico, serving the border crossings of more than 50,000 vehicles and approximately 25,000 pedestrian every day.
Traci Madison contributed to this report.