Two Arizona congressmen are asking for answers on when the Lukeville Port of Entry will reopen at the southern border.
Rep. Juan Ciscomani, a Tucson area Republican, and Rep. Greg Stanton, a Phoenix area Democrat, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for a timeline.
“Arizonans and Mexicans benefit from efficient cross-border commerce and tourism,” they wrote. “While the Lukeville POE processes significantly less traffic than the Nogales, San Luis, and Douglas POEs, a closure restricts access between Arizona and northern Mexican destinations like Puerto Peñasco and Sonoyta. We’ve heard from constituents concerned about the impact of the port’s closure on their businesses and personal travel.”
Ciscomani and Stanton said that they’re concerned about how this will impact other ports of entry in both the Tucson and Yuma sectors, especially when it comes to wait times and staffing needs.
They asked Mayorkas about why the decision was made to close the port of entry, and the “metrics” officials will use to determine when it will open back up. In addition, they asked about what DHS is doing to help the Tucson sector to “ensure a swift return to normal operations” and what resources are coming from other ports of entry to assist with the current situation.
The letter said that they’re seeking the answers while Congress works to negotiate a national security deal that covers that border crisis in a way that garners bipartisan support.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection shut down the port of entry on Monday, which was a controversial decision that spurred backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. The legal entry point serves primarily as a route to for Americans to visit the beach town of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point.
The Tucson sector is currently extremely busy with migrant encounters, as there was a record-breaking 17,500 apprehensions last week, according to the sector’s Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin’s post.
While some lawmakers have called for the Arizona National Guard to be deployed to Lukeville, Gov. Katie Hobbs said Tuesday that she is holding off for now.
“We’re absolutely looking at that as an option, but it’s not something that would be helpful right now, and it’s not something that law enforcement are asking for,” she said, The Center Square reported.
Republished with the permission of The Center Square.