Is the border actually restricted to essential travel only?


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It has now been more than two weeks since the ports of entry were restricted to essential travel only.

However, one essential worker who crosses freight from Mexico to the U.S. says he hasn’t seen many changes in the screening process.

​”I know there’s people who just travel for pleasure still,”​ said Victor Hernandez, a truck driver.

Hernandez works with his father. They cross the border regularly to deliver freight with their trucking company.

“There’s not been any significant change in their questions. They obviously ask you what’s your purpose of going to the United States and back and forth,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez normally crosses in his pick-up truck while his father crosses in the semi through the freight line.

Hernandez says he has documents from the trucking company to prove he is an essential worker. However, he says he has never been asked for them.

“I have it ready, they never ask for it but I have it ready,” said Hernandez.

According to CBP that’s because American Citizens crossing from Mexico to the U.S. are considered essential, According to Hernandez, he has dual citizenship, which allows him to cross.

Hernandez says now when returning from El Paso back to Juarez he has seen people checking temperatures. Although, he says he has not gotten checked.

“The last time I came back, there was like a huge checkpoint on the bridge. I don’t know if they were just checking the cars with American plates or Texas plates. They were checking temperatures, they were wearing these like white suits,” said Hernandez.

According to CBP, officers do not perform health screenings.

“Consistent with existing procedures to prevent the spread of communicable disease, travelers identified with symptoms of COVID-19 may be provided with a mask and referred to DHS medical contractors, the CDC, or local health officials for enhanced health screening,” said Ruben Jauregui, a spokesperson for CBP.

The travel restriction will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 20.

For a full list of what is considered essential travel check CBP’s website.

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