ARIZONA NEWS

Border Patrol says more Americans violating non-essential travel ban

Oct 12, 2020, 4:35 AM | Updated: 9:34 am

PHOENIX — As the United States and Mexico work to stop COVID-19’s spread, non-essential travel remains prohibited across their shared border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveyed 150,000 travelers along the southwest border and CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday that more Americans are traveling for non-essential reasons.

“This is a balance about addressing the real public health crisis that we’re in, but also to look at this from a practical standpoint of the economic impact that (the coronavirus) is having,” Morgan said.

His agency looking for ways to stop non-essential travel, like for vacations and family visits, and instead boost safety for essential commercial travel to keep both countries’ economies going.

“We’re going to continue to work with the local communities, set some criteria up, and go forward with a tailored risk approach that really is tailored for each community along the southwest border,” Morgan said.

During the pandemic’s height, illegal border crossings and drug seizures dropped, but now even the traffickers adjusted their ways for coronavirus.

“Our seizures of fentanyl from this time last year are up 55%,” Morgan reported. “Our seizures of methamphetamine are up 24%.”

Morgan blames the spike on Americans self-medicating their personal issues during the pandemic.

“Those two stats should be shocking to the American public,” Morgan said. “We must have every tool and resource to stop things from crossing the border and coming into the country that could harm us.”

That’s part of the reason COVID-19 hasn’t stopped southwest border wall construction.

“We actually increased production during this time,” Morgan said. “We’re actually up to over 10 miles per week. Right now, we’ve got 360 miles of wall systems that have been built.”

Morgan said they expect to have 450 miles of new border wall completed by the end of the year.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Friday she is registering as an independent, leaving the Democratic Party but promising her work won't change.
8 hours ago
FILE - Border Patrol agents patrol along a line of shipping containers stacked near the border on A...
Kevin Stone

Arizona border sheriff backs protesters impeding shipping container installation

A southern Arizona sheriff said protesters have been keeping crews from stacking shipping containers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and he's good with it.
8 hours ago
(AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)...
KTAR.com

Guatemalan man facing charges after allegedly assaulting Arizona border patrol agent

A Guatemalan man was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a border patrol agent while he was illegally crossing the border.
8 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Flickr Photo)...
KTAR.com

No scheduled closures on Phoenix-area freeways for third consecutive weekend

Phoenix-area drivers won't have to worry about closures on freeways for a third straight weekend as there are no scheduled projects.
8 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Ballet Arizona -- Twitter Photo/@ArizonaCoyotes)...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Dec. 9-11

The Arizona Coyotes are back in town, more holiday festivities are underway and museums could be your next favorite winter go-to spot.
8 hours ago
(Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images...
KTAR.com

Charles Barkley happy for Brittney Griner’s Russia release, feels for still-imprisoned Paul Whelan

Charles Barkley is happy fellow Valley basketball icon Brittney Griner was released from Russia in a prisoner swap, but feels for Paul Whelan.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Border Patrol says more Americans violating non-essential travel ban