Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

New Border Security Processes: System in Need of Overhauling

By Andrea-Teresa "Tess" Arenas - 04.28.2010

Millions of Mexicans cross the border legally through USA entry points to report to work each morning.  The lines to enter the USA are painfully long.  The line also has stringent rules enforced by the U.S. Border Patrol.

I was told to stop talking and turn off my cell phone while I was about 150 feet away from the USA entry point (in other words, while I was still in Mexico) by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.

I had been in line for over an hour, the temperature was 106 degrees, and no shade.  My travel partner, another faculty person, fainted from the wait.  Then, we were processed quickly so an ambulance could be called on the U.S. side.

The Border crossing points are in need of a serious overhaul.  The process can be much more humane with some effort from both the U.S. and Mexico.

As a frequent border crosser, here are my suggestions.

Create three separate lines to enter the U.S.

One line is for the Mexican citizens who are reporting to work or going shopping on the U.S. side.

The second line is for U.S. citizens returning home.

The third line is for those whose ID cards or passports have scanner problems.

The Mexicans would be issued a new high technology ID card which lists name, address, cellular phone number, work site. The card would be machine-scanned in seconds.

Currently, in Mexico the middle and upper middle class can obtain a high cost VISA into the U.S.

My suggestion is to make these VISAS available to the working class and make them scanner ready.

The U.S. line would use the USA passport or other ID and also use a scanner system.  To ensure border security, other screening methods could be employed if the scanner finds a problem for either U.S. citizens or Mexicans.

The result would be a much faster process for both Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Perhaps, making onerous line waiting and restrictive line rules a thing of the past?

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