SAN DIEGO -Â Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 22, which urges Congress to appropriate $248 million in funding, as proposed by the Presidentâ€™s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, to complete Phase II of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry Reconfiguration and Expansion project.
â€œWe need to continue to push for infrastructure improvements in our ports of entry,â€ stated Senator Hueso. Â â€œReducing barriers to cross-border travel and trade is to everyoneâ€™s benefit. Â By expanding Calexicoâ€™s Port of Entry, we as Californians have a greater opportunity to improve our economic prosperity and success. Â These enhancements will not only broaden our options but will also transform the way we travel by making it more convenient, fast and accessible.â€
Phase II will ensure completion of the project, which will improve domestic supply chains, strengthen our national security, reduce the Portâ€™s carbon footprint, and facilitate economic growth, not only for the Imperial County and California, but for the entire nation. Â The project will include additional site-work, an expanded pedestrian processing facility, administrative offices, and six additional northbound Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) inspection lanes.
â€œThe inclusion of $248 million in funding for Phase II of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry reconfiguration and expansion project in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill will bring the needed resources to our border region in order to enhance the quality of life to our residents. It is our very own California-Mexico border communities that are most impacted by the wait times and poor air quality standards,â€ said Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, Co-Author of SJR 22. Â â€œIt is our goal to create greater opportunities to address a series of issues that are affecting not only the economic vitality opportunities in the region but more importantly the public health and well-being of the people that live here.â€
The General Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security estimate that $6 billion in border infrastructure is needed to fulfill their mission of preventing unlawful entry and smuggling while facilitating legitimate trade and tourism.
California exports to Mexico amounted to $26.8 billion in 2015, a 5.5 percent increase from 2014. Â Computers and electronic products remained Californiaâ€™s largest exports, accounting for 25.1 percent of all California exports to Mexico. Exports of transportation equipment and machinery from California to Mexico grew to total almost $5 billion; with chemicals and electrical equipment continuing to be strong export sectors as well.
Senate Joint Resolution 22 is supported by the City of El Centro, City of Holtville, Calexico Chamber of Commerce,Â El Centro Chamber of Commerce, Imperial Valley Joint Chambers of Commerce, Imperial Mexicali Binational Alliance and the Imperial County Transportation Commission.
Phase I of the Expansion project is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2018.