Southern Border Crossings Climb In Face Of ‘Non-Essential’ Travel Ban
Arrivalsat America’s southern border are rising, despite the continued ban on“non-essential” travel. At the rate northbound traffic is increasing, crossingswill soon be back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
An interactive government database shows pedestrian and vehicular arrivals at the five busiest ports of entry rose to 3,359,795 in May, up 38 percent over April. San Ysidro, Calif., the nation’s largest land port, registered a 27 percent increase while smaller checkpoints posted larger spikes. Del Rio, Texas, was up 94 percent.
President Donald Trump’s March 20 order restricting border crossings to non-essential travel has been extended through Aug. 21 in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. But, for whatever reason, U.S.-bound traffic is building.
Thecrowded port at San Ysidro, just south of San Diego, illustrates what U.S.Customs and Border Protection agents are up against. In May, 1,019,554 peoplein cars and 295,421 pedestrians arrived there – all of them supposedly engagedin “essential travel.”
“Just how the officers at San Ysidro can appropriately make more than 1.3 million favorable decisions on the admission of these border crossers is hard to imagine,” noted David North of the Center for Immigration Studies. “If that number were spread evenly over the days, it would be more than 1,750 an hour, for each and every hour of the day.”
Inmost cases, arrivals are U.S. citizens or green card holders, many of whomcross multiple times per month. But as numbers increase, the composition will likelyinclude more foreign nationals. Ascertaining health status and reasons fortravel becomes more complex and time-consuming amid a rising tide.
Interestingly,commercial traffic at many of the ports has been flat or even declined. Thisraises more questions about the purportedly “essential” purposes of increasednon-commercial crossings.
TheJune and July statistics will tell us more definitively what road we are on.#