City Officials pressure Federal Government on Border situation

Calexico City Officials pressure Federal Government on Border situation

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CALEXICO - Long lines just to cross the border has Calexico City Officials calling on the Federal Government to do something to speed up traffic heading in both directions.

But so far, their calls for action have not been answered.

On most days, especially during morning and afternoon rush hour, just to get from over there to over here, the wait time to drive across the border could take anywhere from an two to three hours.

Calexico city officials say its hurting the local economy and, long wait times, especially during the hot summer months, is causing many to suffer from heat exhaustion.

"You have senior citizens that wait in a hundred and ten degree heat that collapse many times", says Calexico Mayor, Pro Tem, Bill Hodge.

And that has all Calexico City Officials, not just Mayor Pro Bill Hodge, irate at how long it takes for citizens to get across the border, on foot or driving.

Today, city officials held a press conference to use the media as a way to try to reach the federal government and pressure them into doing something about it.

"You have a tremendous problem here where you have people from both sides of the border waiting in long, long lines daily and it's inhuman. My first concern is the people".

Hodge says that the situation is also causing a burden on the local economy - which already suffers from an unemployment rate hovering at about 29-percent.

"You have billions of dollars of loss revenue throughout the state of California and the United States beginning right here at this border and also, not to mention, the loss of revenue for this wonderful city of Calexico".

Hodge says speeding up traffic - and putting an end to the bottle necking of cars waiting for hours - just to cross - would also increase the amount of trade and commerce flowing both ways. 

"If this country wants more economic activity and lift ourselves out of this recession, we need to work along with Homeland Security, the Federal Government, but we need to find an effective and secure way to eliminate these long lines".

According to City Officials, the immediate solution would be to add more agents to the port of entry. It is after all the third busiest one in the country.

I tried to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but an agent told me he could not comment.

For now, Calexico City Officials will try to make their voices heard by using the media to voice their concerns.

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