ARIZONA NEWS

Lukeville Port of Entry on Arizona-Mexico border reopens after monthlong closure

Jan 4, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: 6:29 am

The international port of entry between the United States and Mexico in Lukeville, Arizona, is seen...

The Lukeville Port of Entry on the Arizona-Mexico border was scheduled to reopen Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, exactly one month after it was closed by U.S. officials. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — After a controversial monthlong closure and heavy pushback from Arizona officials, the Lukeville Port of Entry reopened Thursday at 6 a.m.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Tuesday that the entry in southwest Pima County would be back in business exactly one month after it was closed in order to focus resources on handling a surge of illegal border crossings in the area.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday that the crossings have slowed recently, but not because of manpower maneuvers.

“The resources that we had there, all that was, was to process people through the system faster to try to alleviate the backlog in the system. … There were no enforcement measures that were being put in place that helped alleviate the numbers,” he said.

“It strictly came down to Mexico started putting a little bit of pressure on the cartels. Whether that lasts, that remains to be seen, but this was all Mexico.”

Where is the Lukeville Port of Entry and why is it important?

Lukeville is within the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector at the southern terminus of Highway 85, which starts in Buckeye and crosses through Gila Bend on the way to Mexico.

The next closest major border crossings are more than 200 miles away in either direction: the Nogales Port of Entry south of Tucson and the San Luis Port of Entry near Yuma.

Lukeville is the main crossing point for travelers heading between the Phoenix area and the tourist destination of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point).

The town known as Arizona’s Beach became more like a ghost town after CBP officials closed the Lukeville Port of Entry on Dec. 4.

How much money is spent by Mexican visitors in Arizona?

There also was an economic impact north of the border, but it will take time to determine he full extent, Danny Seiden, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told KTAR News on Wednesday.

Seiden said what is known is that Mexican visitors spend an average around $7 million a day in Arizona, and the month of December accounts for 20-25% of the annual spending.

“While we won’t have the hard numbers anytime soon, our shop owners felt it, the border communities felt it, these hard-working people struggling to keep their restaurants and hotels open in a post-COVID world, they all felt it,” he said.

Seiden lauded Arizona political leaders from both parties for putting pressure on the Biden administration to lift the closures.

“I want to give a lot of credit to Gov. Katie Hobbs for the pressure that she was putting on the White House … as well as our delegation, in particular Congressman Juan Ciscomani, who is working on this day and night,” he said. Hobbs is a Democrat and Ciscomani a Republican.

Are any other border crossings being reopened?

The Morley Pedestrian Port of Entry in Nogales, which has been closed since Sept. 25 for renovations that initially were supposed to be completed by the end of November, also was slated to resume operations Thursday, with 10 a.m. the scheduled opening time.

CPB also said paused operations at crossings in Eagle Pass, Texas, and San Diego would resume Thursday morning.

“CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday. “We continue to assess security situations, adjust our operational plans, and deploy resources to maximize enforcement efforts against those noncitizens who do not use lawful pathways or processes — such as scheduling an appointment via CBP One — and those without a legal basis to remain in the United States.”

Cross-border travelers can check port of entry wait times at the CBP website.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday, police said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)...

KTAR.com

Phoenix police arrest man accused of fatally shooting victim found in West Valley alley

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday for his involvement in the shooting death of Roy Orozco, 24, Phoenix police said.

1 hour ago

Guests mill about at a previous Guild Indian Fair & Market on the grounds of the Heard Museum in Ph...

KTAR.com

Heard Museum in Phoenix holding 66th annual Guild Indian Fair & Market this weekend

The Heard Museum in Phoenix is holding its signature event this weekend, the 66th annual Guild Indian Fair & Market.

2 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

4 hours ago

FILE - A group of migrants walk along the border in a remote part of the Arizona desert as they joi...

Associated Press

Bill in Arizona would punish migrants who enter country illegally

Republicans in Arizona are broadcasting a tough border stance with legislation aimed at punishing migrants who enter the United States illegally.

5 hours ago

Mugshot of Brandie Gotch, who faces multiple charges for an alleged rampage against children at a P...

Kevin Stone

West Valley mom accused of driving through park, injuring a child, while her kids were in truck

A woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly driving her pickup truck through a West Valley park and hitting a child after she thought her kids were being bullied.

8 hours ago

Three former Arizona Department of Education employees are accused of obtaining funds from the stat...

KTAR.com

Former Arizona education employees accused of stealing money from ESA program

Three former Arizona Department of Education employees are accused of obtaining funds from the state's school voucher program for personal use, authorities announced Thursday.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Lukeville Port of Entry on Arizona-Mexico border reopens after monthlong closure