In a Feb. 3 letter, New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection to extend the hours of operation for northbound commercial traffic at the Santa Teresa port of entry and to publicize recently extended southbound hours.

As of Jan. 18, under a public-private partnership, CBP extended its hours of operation for southbound commercial traffic at the Santa Teresa POE from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to midnight. The senators requested that CBP update its informational materials to inform the public about this change and encourage businesses to take advantage of the extended hours. The letter also asked CBP to similarly extend the weekday hours of operation for northbound commercial traffic at this POE and to make the extended hours permanent in both directions once the public-private partnership ends.

Southern New Mexico is a fast-growing international trade center, the senators wrote, and the additional capacity created by the proposed changes would help further increase and facilitate two-way trade. Traffic that currently crosses in El Paso, Texas, would be able to travel through New Mexico, thereby reducing heavy congestion and long wait times. Moreover, an extension would take full advantage of infrastructure improvements in Mexico, where there is now a paved highway running from Ciudad Juárez to the POE.

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