Mayors renew commitment for Anapra-Sunland Park border crossing

Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar (second from right) and Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea met Wednesday at Juarez City Hall.

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The mayors of Juarez, Mexico, and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on Wednesday renewed their commitment to a new border crossing west of El Paso.

Cruz Perez Cuellar and Javier Perea met at Juarez City Hall to sign a memorandum of understanding to push the construction of the crossing with their respective governments and secure funding. The Camino Real Tierra Adentro crossing would be located just west of the foothills of Mount Cristo Rey on the New Mexico side and on Calle Tonina, in the Anapra neighborhood of Juarez.

Perez Cuellar and Perea met last summer and announced the Mexican federal government had green-lighted the project. But under Mexican law, that’s a lengthy process requiring individual approval of federal highway, environmental and customs agencies. The crossing also needs a presidential permit on the U.S. side – which Sunland Park has not received yet.

Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea talks about the benefits to Juarez, Mexico, of a new border crossing leading to his New Mexico community.

The crossing would primarily process passenger vehicles and pedestrian traffic, thus not compete with the growing Santa Teresa, New Mexico, port of entry just a few miles to the west, Perea has said. It would also be a catalyst for economic development for West Juarez and for Sunland Park with a population of 17,000.

Some industry advocates in New Mexico last year told Border Report they were concerned the two border crossings would compete for federal funding and Customs and Border Protection personnel.

The Santa Teresa port of entry needs expansion due to the exponential growth of truck traffic in recent years, and CBP has struggled to maintain all inspection lanes open at border crossings in the El Paso Sector due to a now years-long migrant crisis that forces CBP to deploy its officers to assist in migrant processing.

Sunland Park residents have been pushing for a border crossing to Juarez since at least the 1970s.

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