8/19/15, "New pedestrian crossing unveiled in Tijuana," San Diego Union-Tribune, Sandra Dibble, Tijuana, Mexico
"A new entrance to Mexico for pedestrians opened Wednesday at
San Ysidro--a modern, three-story facility that authorities say will
transform the experience of entering Mexico for some 22,000 southbound
border crossers each day.
The $6.9 million structure,
Puerta Este Mexico-San Ysidro, represents a new way of doing business at
the border for Mexico, as the federal government seeks control of who
comes into the country.
With the new facilities, immigration officials
are preparing to step up enforcement of a rule stipulating that
foreigners present passports when entering Mexico, and requiring that
those on business or who plan to stay for more than a week pay a
330-peso fee, about $21.
The new facility answers a need
to “offer adequate, modern, comfortable, efficient, rapid and friendly
service,” said Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s secretary of finance and public
credit, one of a number of high-ranking U.S. and Mexican officials
attending the Wednesday inauguration.
that the building will be a model that can be replicated at other
crossings as Mexico upgrades its border infrastructure. For the first
time, foreigners will be processed in separate lines from Mexican
“The way that people enter Mexico has been growing very
disorganized, and now we are making it organized, that’s the big
difference,” said Carlos de la Fuente, general director of construction
and appraisals for Indaabin, the Mexican agency in charge of building
Rodulfo Figueroa, who heads Mexico’s
National Migration Institute in Baja California, has been working to
assuage fears that the new measures could create lines of pedestrians
waiting to enter Tijuana. While all foreign border crossers are required
to show their passports and subject to filling out an entry form, the rule will not be uniformly enforced when the port gets busy, Figueroa said.
“I can tell you that the driver here is to comply with what Mexican law
says, and do it in a seamless way, to have security, efficiency and
order,” Figueroa said.
The pedestrian crossing is part of a massive binational
reconfiguration of the congested U.S.-Mexico border at San Ysidro,
described by U.S. and Mexican officials as the world’s busiest land
border crossing. The United States has invested $741 million to expand
the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a multiphase project that is expected to
conclude in 2019. In September 2012, Mexico opened at $28 million
vehicle port of entry, El Chaparral.
The opening of the
pedestrian entrance gives rise to a series of other public and private
projects planned on the Tijuana side. They include links to a future
rapid-transit system, a public park, a medical plaza, and an enclosed
pedestrian bridge built above the vehicle lanes.
east, other changes have been taking place. In December, the developers
of a privately operated cross-border pedestrian bridge leading from Otay
Mesa to Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International Airport expect to begin
operations. Plans are also moving forward for the State Route 11/Otay
Mesa East Port of Entry, which would be the first tolled vehicle
crossing on the California-Mexico border and serve both commercial and
Other high-profile public figures at
Wednesday’s ceremony included Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. commissioner of
Customs and Border Protection; José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico’s
foreign minister; and Pedro Joaquín Caldwell, Mexico’s energy secretary.
is a building that not only improves the image, but at the same time
creates an important point of encounter for families, tourists, and
commerce,” Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega de la Madrid said.
facility is located east of the northbound vehicle lanes leading into
San Ysidro. Built with state and federal funds, it replaces a
provisional entrance with stairways and ramps with hairpin turns that
had been used since September 2012, when the U.S. government opened its
new pedestrian crossing into Mexico on the eastern side of the port. The
makeshift installation was drab and difficult to navigate, especially
for elderly and handicapped crossers, or those pushing strollers and
carrying packages. And inspections were minimal....
A 72-year-old Tijuana
resident wheeling a cart with used closing she intended to sell said
she was afraid of scrutiny of customs inspectors. A 24-year-old U.S.
citizen living without documents in Rosarito Beach said she worried
about paying the fee....
California Tourism Secretary Oscar Escobedo called the new port
“something that was long overdue.” But he is trying to persuade federal
officials that short-term foreign visitors passing through the new port
should not be required to fill out an entry form.
illogical that if you drive across, you don’t need to fill out the form,
and if you walk across, you need to fill out the form.”"
Image caption: "Foreign visitors to Mexico will have their own line as they enter Mexico's new pedestrian entrance at San Ysidro.
— Alejandro Tamayo"
Friday, August 21, 2015
Mexico opens new $6.9 million, 3 story facility in Tijuana to control who comes into its country, requires passports, filled out forms, small fee if extended stay. Binational effort follows $741 million US spent to expand San Ysidro Port of Entry-San Diego Union-Tribune
Posted by susan at 4:17 AM