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UPDATE: International ports of entry to change schedules for pope’s visit

With the arrival of Pope Francis in Ciudad Juarez less than a month away, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are expecting thousands of border crossers to take to El Paso’s ports of entry.

“The volume of people we are going to get all at once is a big challenge,” said Ruben Jauregui, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman.

The pope’s visit and its effects on the ports of entry in the region are unheard of.

“Something of this magnitude, that’s happening in one day, will pretty much be a first for us here at the El Paso Ports of Entry,” Jauregui said.

The federal agent says they will be doubling up on officers to keep all lanes for drivers and pedestrians open.

“We’re pulling our resources from other locations within the port of entry. We have some officers working administrative duties that will that will be working at the ports of entry as well as reaching out to our outer ports that will be sending out personnel out here,” Jauregui told ABC-7.

One of the biggest tasks CBP will have is rerouting northbound commercial traffic.

All cargo trucks that normally cross the Bridge of the Americas will have to use either the Ysleta Port of Entry or the Santa Teresa port of entry, which will open at 6 a.m. for cargo traffic.

To help with passenger traffic, CBP will also open the Tornillo and Santa Teresa ports of entry 24 hours a day a few days before and after the pope’s visit.

“We ask the public to be prepared, be patient, know that if they are going to go to Juarez and return that same day they are going to have to be patient and wait in line,” Jauregui said.

You can follow traffic updates here:

CBP West Twitter link

CBP Border Wait Times App

CBP border wait times web page

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