Written by Right Side News
El Paso, Texas - The city of El Paso is expecting to host a large number of college football fans from Pennsylvania and Oregon who will be in town to attend the annual Sun Bowl football game December 31. Historically many of the college football fans visit neighboring Juarez, Mexico during their time in El Paso. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding the visiting Pitt Panther and Oregon State Beaver fan base that there are a number of border crossing requirements they need to be aware before venturing across the international boundary.
Since January of this year, U.S. citizens returning at an international land border crossing like El Paso must present a passport, pass card, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant document to enter the United States. However, there are still border crossing options for those who do not possess a WHTI document at this time.
"CBP is currently in a transition period so those U.S. citizens who do not have a WHTI document can still legally enter the country by presenting a government issued photo ID and proof of citizenship (birth certificate) to the CBP officer at the port of entry," said CBP Director of Field Operations in El Paso Ana Hinojosa. "This is fairly common knowledge for those living in border states but we certainly want our guests from Oregon and Pennsylvania to be prepared in advance if they wish to visit Mexico while they are in El Paso supporting their teams."
Additional expanded information on WHTI can be found at the following U.S. State Department Web site. ( U. S. Department of State )
CBP is also reminding out of town visitors that there are a number of items available in Mexico which are prohibited in the U.S. Some items commonly seized by CBP officers include pork products, a variety of agricultural items, items made from the skins of endangered species, Cuban cigars and more. There are also import limits on legal items like alcohol and tobacco.
"We encourage visitors to educate themselves in advance by reading the CBP ‘Know Before You Go' traveler guide which is available on our website," said Hinojosa. "It is also important that travelers declare all items they acquired abroad to CBP officers when they arrive for inspection. Knowing what is allowed and what is prohibited can help travelers avoid fines and penalties when they return to the U.S."
CBP's Know Before You Go guide can be found on the CBP Web site. ( Know Before You Go )
Although it is outside CBP's area of responsibility, international travelers often ask CBP officers about any tips they may have to offer about countries the traveler plans to visit. This type of inquiry is handled by the U.S. State Department, which has information for U.S. residents planning foreign travel, including safety and security recommendations. The State Department's Web site has information about travel to Mexico. ( U. S. Department of State Travel Alert )
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.