Cap’n Greg likes politics about as much as he likes anchovy tacos, but border crossing issues created by both the US and Mexico have been with us forever. Judy Engels from Glendale is the latest to ask, “Why does it take so $#@! long to cross the border?”
Once upon a time, you had to stop on the Mexico side to fill out visa paperwork with many carbon copies and rubber stamps involved. When Rocky Point became a free zone, with no visas required, that speeded the process mucho.
When going in today, and you get the red light, Mexican authorities may check registrations to prevent the importation of stolen vehicles. They also may confiscate items that they would rather you buy in Mexico, like some food items and booze. (You can find a list of restricted items online.)
Heading north, the primary objective is to prevent the passage of people and contraband that are, by US law, prohibited to enter. Computer databases streamline ID checks, as well as scannable passports and SENTRI cards for frequent crossers. But it still takes time to do all that.
The bottom line is, Mexico wants your tourist dollars so you’ll have few delays heading south. Heading north, however, just because the line of cars stretches for miles, the US still has to check every vehicle and every passenger.
So, what can you do to avoid long waits? Make sure everyone in your vehicle has a valid passport. Extend your stay into Monday or Tuesday. If you must leave Sunday, be at the border close to when it opens. You can leave late in the afternoon, but there’s no guarantee you will make it across before the border closes. The best solution? Buy a place in Peñasco and move here. Cross only during the week. Problem solved.