SAN DIEGO — Some people say they are already feeling the impact after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reassigned 750 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents to help process asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The shift in personnel has forced the closure of two of the 10 northbound lanes on the commercial side of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. Due to this move, it’s taking truck drivers up to eight hours to get across.
“Unfortunately we’re the ones who are going to pay the price,” said Jorge Lara, who said he waited five hours to get his load of cucumbers north of the border.
Others drivers complained that by waiting for so long to cross, their driving time will be reduced and they won’t be able reach their destinations.
Truckers’ driving time is tracked electronically. When they reach a certain number of hours behind the wheel, they have to pull over or they face hefty fines.
Truckers started seeing the longer wait times Monday when the two lanes were closed indefinitely. It’s not clear when the agents will return and normal staffing will resume.