Customs and Border Patrol would trust people crossing from Mexico to self-scan their documents, which agents would check from a hundred miles away.
The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting. Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.
This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing to allow people to cross the border legally from Mexico without a customs officer in sight. But in this rugged, remote West Texas terrain where wading across the shallow Rio Grande undetected is all too easy, federal authorities are touting a proposal to open an unmanned port of entry as a security upgrade.
By the spring, kiosks could open up in Big Bend National Park allowing people from the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen to scan their identity documents and talk to a customs officer in another location, at least 100 miles away.
The crossing, which would be the nation’s first such port of entry with Mexico, has sparked opposition from some who see it as counterintuitive in these days of heightened border security. Supporters say the crossing would give the isolated Mexican town long-awaited access to U.S. commerce, improve conservation efforts and be an unlikely target for criminal operations.
As Doug Ross notes, we already have an unmanned crossing point — pretty much the entire border.
This is an odd proposal, coming from an administration run by a president whose TSA strip searches elderly US citizens just for the privilege of boarding a plane, and who famously hates kiosks like ATMs because he thinks they take away jobs. Apparently it’s okay to take jobs from border patrol agents, but not bank tellers. Or something. Perhaps the Obama administration fears more of its “workplace violence” will harm agents on the job.