Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doubled border security could impact holiday sales

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. The holiday season is a busy time along the border, with people crossing back and forth to visit relatives and shop.

This year travelers may experience even more delays because of increased border security in Mexico.

Bumper to bumper cars wait to cross the border. It might look like traffic is backed up, but a short walk across the busiest El Paso bridge reveals a different picture.

The hold up -- a military checkpoint in Mexico. Lili Gonzalez, a Juarez resident, says they're checking for weapons.

Increased security in some Mexican border towns coping with drug violence is disturbing the normal flow of traffic into the United States.

“It's difficult now because of the military, but we're getting used to it. We have to cross every day,” Daniel Navarro, college student.

Navarro is a student at UT-El Paso. Border crossers dealing with double checkpoints say the extra security is creating longer delays, but it's hard to say how much longer most people are waiting.

“With Mexican authorities doing inspections on their side, those are not accounted into our wait times -- we only control what is on our side,” said Ruben Jauregui, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers are worried any delays caused by the double checkpoints will only drive shoppers from Mexico away.

Cross border commuters have to brave the lines, but during the holidays, shoppers may choose to avoid the hassle.

The impact of the border crossing delays could impact retailers in Central Texas. Some of those shoppers from Mexico visit local malls during the holiday season.

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