July 14, 2015

Udall Welcomes New Public-Private Partnership to Extend Hours at Santa Teresa Port of Entry

Customs and Border Protection accepts Dell Inc.’s proposal, which Udall pushed for

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is partnering with Dell Inc. to extend hours at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry (POE). Dell Inc. will be funding four additional hours for southbound commercial traffic Monday through Friday for one year. Udall backed Dell Inc.'s application for the partnership in a letter with Senator Martin Heinrich last month, and also invited CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske to visit the Santa Teresa POE to see firsthand how federal and private investments have improved interstate commerce and bolstered Southern New Mexico's economy.

The new partnership is part of CBP's Reimbursable Services Program, which supports supplemental requests for services at U.S. ports of entry while managing rising volumes of travel and trade that are critical to the nation's economy.

"This new public-private partnership will help increase efficiency and bolster our state's economy, creating good-paying jobs along the way," said Udall, a member of the Appropriations and Commerce committees. "I supported this expansion to help grow Southern New Mexico as an epicenter for international trade, and I look forward to visiting the Santa Teresa Port of Entry soon to continue working to expand commercial opportunities in the region."

Udall has consistently pushed for smart investments in rail and transportation infrastructure and has long championed the Santa Teresa POE. In 2010, he strongly supported a $10 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which helped fund upgrades and expansion at the port. In 2011, Udall participated in the groundbreaking for Union Pacific's new $400 million rail facility, and last year he attended its grand opening. And in October, during a meeting in Albuquerque, he invited U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to tour Santa Teresa. During that meeting, Udall provided Foxx with a list of priorities prepared by the Border Industrial Association detailing the reconstruction needs of Airport Road, Industrial Drive and Twin Cities Road to support Santa Teresa's continuing economic growth.

Udall has long advocated for expanding activities at the Santa Teresa POE. In 2013, he and Heinrich sent a letter to then-U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging her to extend the hours of operation for commercial traffic at Santa Teresa POE. The senators furthered this effort after introducing an amendment to the 2013 immigration reform bill to extend the commercial and private hours of operation for vehicles at the Santa Teresa POE, to help facilitate trade and enhance national security along the port of entry.