Wait times at international bridges to increase for summer

By: Cassandra Garcia

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The official start of summer is right around the corner, and it's the busiest time of the year for CBP officers. That's when they see a lot more cross border travel.

Officers say more people tend to cross on weekends throughout the summer customs and border protection says longer lines are to be expected.

Summer means more travelers and higher than normal wait times at the Hidalgo International Bridge.

Alexandra Cifuentes lives in the Rio Grande Valley, but she has family in Mexico. She's one of many travelers who head across the border often during the summer. 

"In the summer, there's more movement back and forth. I visit my family more, I take more time off from work. I think that's the reason for other people too," Cifuentes said.

Customs and Border Protection Agent Francisco Rodriguez says it's typical this time of year.

"There's going to be an increase in traffic. We won't sacrifice our inspection process for quicker travel, so just keep that in mind," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says wait times can range from 45 min to two hours throughout the summer, especially on holidays and weekends.

There are things you can do to speed up the process.

"What will help on the traveler's end is to have your documents in order. If you're a U.S. citizen that usually crosses with a birth certificate, go get your passport. Having an officer slow down to type every person that doesn't have a passport slows that line even more," Rodriguez said.

Another common reason for delays are people who don't know what items they're crossing with. Showing agents at the border an itemized list of everything you have could make the process a lot smoother.

CBP says the number one thing is to plan accordingly. You can check the wait time of each bridge right through your phone before leaving by clicking on this link.

Watch the video above for the full story.


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