November 17, 2021

In week after border reopening, feared lines yet to materialize in Nogales

On Monday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s wait time smartphone app was showing modest 25- to 30-minute waits for passenger vehicles in Nogales.

border deconcini cars Motorists wait to cross at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Sonora, in February 2019.
Murphy Woodhouse/Fronteras Desk

Since restrictions on nonessential border crossings were lifted last week, the expected long waits have yet to materialize.

In the lead up to the Nov. 8 reopening, many who were already able to cross lined up to get north before the feared days of hours-long waits. But by the following morning in downtown Nogales, the largest Arizona-Sonora port of entry, the port was all but empty, and has often been so since, even over the weekend, according to media reports.

“We were extremely surprised,” said nearly daily crosser Josh Rubin, with Javid LLC, which helps firms set up export manufacturing operations in Nogales, Sonora. His company even had a contingency plan in place in case the 5- to 10-hour waits they expected came.

He thinks lapsed visas and long waits to renew them could be one issue at play, but so too could decreased interest in crossing. He also said epic waits could still be on tap as the holidays near.

On Monday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s wait time smartphone app was showing modest 25- to 30-minute waits for passenger vehicles in Nogales. On the other extreme, the major port in San Luis was showing three-hour waits.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
MORE: Border, News, Nogales
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona