CBP encourages more commuters to enroll in 'SENTRI' program

EL PASO, Texas - For commuters who cross the U.S.-Mexico border, they are well aware of wait times at ports of entry that many exceed an hour.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants more people to take advantage of the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program. The SENTRI program allows for shorter wait times for pre-approved, low-risk border crossers who enter the U.S.

Those with a SENTRI pass use designated lanes to get across quicker.

Raul Jaurequi, CBP Officer, said during peak times, commuters can see a 5 to 10-minute wait time.

"What you really do is you go to the front of the line," Jauregui said.

As CBP officers work to shorten the commute for travelers, Jauregui said if more people would enroll in the SENTRI, it would alleviate other lanes.

"It's grown to a bigger, faster, better-operated program," Jauregui said

There are 48,000 people currently enrolled in the SENTRI program in El Paso.

Anyone with proper documentation to enter the U.S. can enroll for a fee of $122.25 for five years.

Travelers must be pre-approved and undergo a "rigorous" background check and in-person interview, officials said.

CBP is offering two opportunities to enroll this month, January 13 at the Ysleta Port of Entry and January 17 at the Bridge of the Americas, from 10am to 2pm.

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