July 29, 2013
Estimating how long commercial trucks must wait in the northbound line at the U.S.-Mexican border is not as straightforward as it sounds. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is having difficulty gathering that kind of data uniformly at numerous border crossings across the Southwest because its collection methods are unreliable and in need of automation, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO report, released by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, was critical of CBP’s methods for collecting data on the time it takes commercial vehicles to travel from the end of an entry line to the primary inspection lane at six land ports of entry. Border wait times are crucial for truckers who regularly cross the Mexican and Canadian borders. Every minute a truck spends in line waiting for inspection can mean lost trade revenue and negative effects on the U.S. economy, said GAO.