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Border Lane Closures Worsen Holiday Border Wait Times

Long waits at border checkpoint.
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
file | staff
Long waits at Nogales border checkpoint.

Last Wednesday, U.S. soldiers blocked off two vehicle lanes at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in downtown Nogales, Arizona.

That came just days before a three-day weekend in Mexico when many Sonoran travelers head north to shop or visit family. It also comes at the start of the holiday season, one of the most economically important for Nogales merchants.

“This is a good week for us here,” said recently elected Mayor Arturo Garino. “I’ve talked to some of the business leaders here, and they’re very concerned about that.”

Garino said the lane blockages and concertina wire recently strung along border could be bad for business. Nogales depends heavily on sales taxes generated by Mexican shoppers. Garino, who has served previously as mayor, hopes the Mariposa Port of Entry further west can pull up some of slack as long as the DeConcini port is down two lanes. He also hopes that’s not for too much longer.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.