Calexico, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials along with Mexican officials announced the opening of a new SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Traveler’s Rapid Inspection) vehicle lane at the Calexico East port of entry today.
The new SENTRI lane will open on Tuesday, November 16th, and will operate seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The non-SENTRI vehicle lanes will remain under the current operating schedule: Monday through Friday, 3 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The new lane at the Calexico East port is in addition to the existing SENTRI vehicle lanes available at the Calexico downtown port that are open seven days a week, including holidays. The hours of operation of the existing SENTRI lanes downtown port were recently expanded. The SENTRI lane at the downtown port of entry is open from 5 a.m. to midnight on Sundays through Thursdays and remains open until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
The downtown port also features a pedestrian SENTRI lane that operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays.
“The addition of a SENTRI vehicle lane at the Calexico East port along with expanding SENTRI hours of operation at the downtown port will provide shorter wait times for trusted travelers at California’s fourth busiest port,” said Port Director, Billy Whitford.
“Expediting legitimate traffic at our border crossings goes hand-in-hand with enhanced security at our borders,” said Port Director, Billy Whitford. “By segmenting traffic and separating low-risk travelers for whom we have advanced information from those about whom we have little or no information, we can better focus our resources.”
Customs and Border Protection’s SENTRI program provides dedicated vehicle lanes and expedited processing at various ports of entry on the Southwest border for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Currently the SENTRI program has more than 34,000 members enrolled locally. Nationwide, there are nearly 250,000 SENTRI members, and combined membership in CBP’s trusted traveler programs NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST exceeds 900,000.
The SENTRI lane first opened at the downtown port on December 29, 2005.
Interested travelers may apply for the SENTRI program by visiting the following website. ( SENTRI Program Description ) The application process takes approximately six to eight weeks to complete with a membership fee of $122.25.
The program gives members access to the dedicated vehicle and pedestrian lanes for five years. Applicants must pass a background check, fingerprint submission, and an in-person interview with a CBP officer.
Program members receive a radio frequency identification SENTRI card that meets the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for proper documents for U.S. citizens who cross the border by land or sea, which went into effect on June 1, 2009.
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.