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Pilot program requires Americans to pay to cross into Mexico

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SAN DIEGO -- Americans planning to cross the border into Mexico may want to bring along some cash -- or ‘pesos’ -- because crossing the border could cost a fee.

U.S. citizens and other non-Mexican citizens who walk across the border to spend an extended period of time must now pay a fee for a permit, similar to a visa.

The fee is $28 to remain in the country for seven or more days.

The permit fee is part of a pilot program that currently only applies to people crossing on foot at both Otay and San Ysidro ports of entry. It could eventually be extended to vehicle lanes, Mexican officials said.

The new procedure will help Mexico keep better track of foreigners in the country and those who cross for work, Mexican immigration officials said.

But many see the fee as an inconvenience.

“We have enough things going down in Mexico to add another barrier or another excuse for not going into Mexico,” said Andres Mosqueira, who lives and works in San Diego but has family in Tijuana.

Others say the procedure is confusing and worry frequent crossers could get ripped off.

“If you’re staying more than seven days, you're supposed to buy the permit. The confusion is that at the border, [officials] are not telling people that. They’re saying, ‘Oh you need to start buying a permit,’” said Mike Coburn, an American who lives in Mexico and crosses the border frequently.

Some Mexican businesses are not happy with the new fee.

“It doesn’t sound very smart,” a local businessman said. “The economy isn’t doing well and tourism is just starting to pick up and if you start charging people, well that won’t help.”

30 comments

  • nate

    Charging a fee to enter Mexico for the day is absolutely ridiculous and less people will actually go there now, who ever thought of this stupid idea should be fired

  • David C.

    They are idiots….. mthafkers should be paying us for visiting and contributing to tourisim and economy. In that case U.S. should be charging mexicans a fee for visiting U.S. to help contribute to pay for their poluting vehicles, under insured or no insurance, the trash they leave behind due to the fact they load up vehicles unsafe and unlawful. And thats to just mention a few.

  • Ron

    Are you fcking kidding me???? As much as we have to fcking do for every God Damn illegal who enters the USA, these pieces of Sh!t now have the balls to change people who are already spending money in their Sh!thole Country?!! FCK MEXICO!!!

    • F.PULE

      this is for the idiot that’s bitching about mexico…..mthafckr if you haven,t heard California belong to mexico in that case wat is a fcken white trash doing in my land am MEXICAN 100% I want to knw wat a fcken white trash do w/out the work of a Mexican cuz all you are is mommy n daddy lil.shit…LOL

  • Will

    And where will that money go? Into some rich politcian’s hands. Why dont they charge all the unlicensed vehicles in TJ and impound the polluting vehicles with non functioning equipment. Ohh and maybe take some of the unsafe buses and the people that drive them off the road. Fine them and use some of that money to fix their roads,clean the streets and build parks for the community. Charging people that are putting money into their economy is a bad idea. Whether they are staying one day or 60 days.

    • Tom

      It’s not one day. It’s over 7 days. Did you also not bother to read the article?
      Plus it’s very fair. I’ve transited through some countries before where they wanted a fee just for me passing through the airport with no intention to stay in country.

      • Will

        Actually what was said was either 1 or 60 days meaning any period of time if you read my response. And who is it fair to? Who is collecting that money and where is it going? Like I said, into politicians pocketbooks. The sales tax is twice there as it is here as well as income tax. That said, services are limited, kids have to go to school with dirty restrooms in puclic schools because there is no money to pay someone to clean them, roads and highways are in disrepair just to name a few. The sales tax was increases recently yet services have not improved. The people that are crossing on a regular basis staying longer than 7 days in Mexico are mostly bringing in dollars made in the US and spending them in Mexico. So charging these people makes no sense. No other country in North America does this, why Mexico? Greed!

  • Fred

    American then MUST start charging each and every Mexician $20 daily at the border to step foot on our soil. As it is, much of the tax free cash money I pay to Mexicians here already is sent back to Mexico City for the 17 children they couldn’t help from having. I support so many families there already with the goods and services I buy. Fuck Mexico

  • Elsa Diez

    Look mexican we do you guys a favor we go buy your stuff over there. Please we eat over there too. You Guys should pay us for going over there. And giving your people money.

    • Tom

      So I guess we can go to the mall and demand that they give us money for using their businesses? Get over your entitled self.

    • Teresa Zinser

      Elsa Diez, you need to read more to get your facts straight, mexicans from the area of Tijuana and surronds spend 2.3 million dollars daily in the USA, Americans from the area of San Diego and surrounds spend 1million daily in Mexico, even the income of mexicans is far lower, the reason for that is because mexicans buy pretty much everything from electronics, clothing, appliances, food, etc etc, while americans it is basically boose, dental work, and partying!… so Mexico is spending far more money in the US thanthe US in Mexico, unfortunally too many of you are ignorant and don’t read enough!!!!

    • Teresa Zinser

      Elsa you need to be more respectful of the country of your ancestors, maybe Mexico is your country!!!…and just because you have lived the US for some time you have become prejudice, your poor english says it all!!!!

  • joe blow

    THEY HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I LIVED HERE, 9 Years, its called a Tourist Visa, or (Formerly Fm1, Fm2, or Fm3) Everyone flying into Mexico from another country has to do it.
    there are many places that do this, Costa Rica charges you to leave.
    I still think its stupid

  • john

    This fee is paid at every other crossing into Mexico. If you are going to spend the day, there is no fee. More than seven, you pay. If you fly into Mexico you pay the fee, such as a flight to Cancun.

  • Teresa Zinser

    That fee has been in place for many many years, for any foreigner remaining 7 or more days in México, it was slightly lower in the past, around 24-25 US dollars. I suggest you get your facts right before frightening tourists, making them believe it is something new, when ithas been a standard procedure, for as many years as I have worked as a tour guide taking people across the border not only at Otay an San Ysidro, it applies to all the border crossings at least for over 15 years!!!!

  • Elsa

    Teresa ur name tells me all u must be a border crossing immigrant . That need to go back to mexico. Fuck mexico he has never fed me. If i went to live over there i would die from not eating the governer screws us all. My respect is here in the usa.

  • Peter Bassel

    This does not sound like a great idea but if you plan to Drive to Mexico Make sure you buy Mexican Auto Insurance. You can get it from http://www.DriveMex.com one of the first sites on the internet selling this type of product. They believe in providing great products at great prices. Its fast, easy and you get a copy of your policy in pdf by email once you are done.

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