By José Antonio Pérez
With the goal of helping to speed up crossings at the Lukeville-Sonoyta border entry, the Puerto Peñasco Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) helped launch a campaign over Thanksgiving weekend to collect signatures meant to encourage the opening of a SENTRI lane on the US side. The campaign will run through Dec. 7th, with petition sites across Puerto Peñasco including a stand set up at Shrimp Plaza, as well as online at: change.org
Lizette Ibarra, Director of the OCV, reported several local business and service providers joined the request made by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to the Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with the goal of helping to ease border crossing times.
She indicated the opening of a SENTRI lane between Sonoyta and Lukeville (or rather, Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) has been a request since 2017, yet hopes are one can be opened within a shorter time frame than the apparently programmed date of 2023 or later.
In periods with high tourism, she detailed, the border becomes saturated, forcing people to wait several hours to cross between both countries. She emphasized the SENTRI lane is needed to facilitate access and return to the U.S. for visitors and residents alike.
It is worth noting, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, SENTRI allows expedited clearance for “pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using dedicated primary lanes into the United States at Southern land border ports.”
Travelers must be pre-approved for the SENTRI program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.