Transmigrate Traffic Backed Up Amid Holidays
LOS INDIOS – Miles and miles of cars are backed-up at the Los Indios International Bridge.
Transmigrantes told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they have been stuck there for days as they wait to get across the border.
The transmigrantes said they are just trying to make it home for the holidays.
With traffic piling-up around the small town of Los Indios, residents also want things to move along faster.
Export cars line the side of the road on FM 509.
Dozens of transmigrantes are trying to make their way to Central America, but are patiently waiting their turn to cross the bridge.
They came to the U.S. to buy used vehicles and transport them back to their countries to sell them.
It’s Jose Perez livelihood. He’s from Guatemala.
"It's our way to make a living and make a few cents, you know, that's how we make our money," Perez said.
He said he's been waiting since Thursday to cross the bridge. After crossing the bridge he says he still has to travel about five days to get to his country. He's hoping to make it home for Christmas.
Jorge Gonzalez, a transmigrante from Honduras, is worried he won't get home for the holiday.
"I can respect that there's laws, but it would be great if they would make things a little easier for us so the process can move faster," Gonzalez said.
They aren't the only ones feeling the effects of these massive traffic back-ups.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with a Los Indios resident who didn't want to be identified but told us she's worried so much traffic in the area could cause an issue for emergency responders trying to get by.
"If any service vehicles come in and try to get into our home, our property if we call them - they can't," she said. "There's going to be a tragedy one day."
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to find out what the holdup is.
Supervisor Elias Rodriguez in a statement said the Los Indios International Bridge is the only current designated transmigrante crossing in South Texas.
In a statement he says:
"We staff in a manner commensurate with the workload and with our hours of operation, which is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday for vehicle exports."
Late December is a peak season, he said, during these times, CBP officers process more than 100 vehicles per day.
Both residents and the transmigrantes are just hoping officers can move this traffic along a little faster.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS also spoke with Los Indios Police Chief Jose de la Rosa, who said they are keeping a close eye on traffic to make sure the export vehicles stay off the driving lanes.
If the lines continue through the weekend, the transmigrantes will be asked to move their cargo away from FM 509 to reduce traffic for locals, he said.
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