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Delays, reduced lanes at Arizona ports of entry

A Nogales police officer stands guard at the vehicle lanes at Nogales' DeConcini port of entry in Nogales on Dec. 2, 2019. The officers were stationed there to prevent migrants from rushing the port of entry.

NOGALES, Sonora – Lane closures, resulting in lengthier wait times to cross into the United States, have returned indefinitely to the ports of entry along the Arizona-Mexico border as asylum-seeking migrants are increasingly attempting to cross through car lanes at the ports. 

Wait times to cross at one port of entry along the border dividing Arizona and Mexico increased to as much as 11 hours over the weekend, according to some drivers, because the lane closures coincided with Thanksgiving, already a busy time at the border crossings.

Customs and Border Protection officials in Arizona said they reduced lanes at three ports over the past week: the DeConcini and Mariposa ports in Nogales and at the Raul Casto port in Douglas. 

The agency reported several instances of frustrated migrants attempting to run through the car lanes rather than continuing to wait for months in Mexico until their numbers are called to be processed for their asylum screening.

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