BP agent reassignments changing border wait times in Nogales

Nogales feeling effects of fewer agents

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The border at the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales was quiet on Tuesday.

There were times when no pedestrians were seen leaving Mexico for the U.S. Those that were, made the trek for dental work or cheaper medications.

“Everybody, I assume, is getting ready for the border to close," said Alan, who did not want his last named used.

He was in Mexico getting a price break on insulin. “It’s half the cost,” he said.

But the number of Border Patrol and Customs agents appeared to be down considerably as well. As many as 150 agents have been transferred out of the Nogales Port of Entry and sent to patrol in Texas.

That leaves fewer officers to inspect vehicles traveling from Mexico to the U.S.

“Now we have longer wait times and not only for pedestrians but vehicular and trucks,” said Arturo Garino, the Mayor of Nogales. “So economically, we can’t go through this.”

Still, wait times for pedestrians was way down on this Tuesday.

“I could say this is the best I’ve ever had getting through,” said recent retiree David Brooks. “I’ve waited a lot longer than I did today.”

Alma Peralta, who has relatives on both sides of the border thinks the reason the traffic was so light is because of the potential shutdown.

“I think people are staying away because they don’t want to get caught on the other side,” the Tucsonan said.

She said she waited six hours to in a car to get across one time and won’t do that again. She walks across now.

“Wait times are generally between an hour, maybe two hours,” she said.

Which made today’s 45 minute wait time tolerable.

“I was preoccupied on my on my phone, so it didn’t seem that long,” she said.

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