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Big Bend's Boquillas border crossing to open

Written by , published December 21, 2012

The Boquillas border crossing in Big Bend National Park is set to re-open.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday that the crossing will open 30 days after its final ruling is published. A precise date wasn’t immediately available.

The federal government closed the Boquillas crossing of the Rio Grande in 2002 in the aftermath of 9/11.

Big Bend National Park has pushed to re-open the crossing to foster both tourism opportunities and resource management cooperation with its Mexican counterparts.

Boquillas will be the only port of entry between Presidio and Del Rio, which are about 300 miles apart. For visitors entering Mexico, the crossing will provide access to the town of Boquillas and the protected areas of Maderas del Carmen, Ocampo, and Cañon de Santa Elena.

In their joint announcement, the National Park Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the “decision to open the state of the art border crossing is based on extensive CBP analysis, consultation with our Mexican counterparts, and is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that we continue to take steps to enhance security along our borders.”

Visitors will cross the Rio Grande via a rowboat operated by a concessionaire. The port of entry will be open to pedestrians from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Cars won’t be allowed to cross.

Crossers entering Mexico from the United States will be required to have a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative approved document.

Crossers from Mexico to the United States will go through entry procedures at a  National Park Service interagency facility. The facility will have two kiosks for visitors to transmit their documentation to Customs and Border Protection and participate in an interview via a remote link, DHS said in its news release.

National Park Service rangers and Border Patrol agents will provide security in the area, and National Park Service personnel will staff the interagency facility.

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