What is the significance of personal vehicle passenger crossings?
The dynamics of personal vehicle passenger crossings through Arizona-Sonora border ports of entry reflect the composite effects of both the economic ties between Arizona and Sonora, as well as border crossing procedures that affect wait times. Since the early 2000’s, periods of economic slowdown, together with increased wait times at border crossings have reduced the number of personal vehicle crossings and the number of passengers, although not at the same rate. Studies of Mexican visitors to Arizona, for example, suggested that although the frequency of vehicle crossings has declined, the number of passengers per car has increased. Among Arizona’s six border ports of entry, Nogales facilitates the largest number of passengers crossing in personal vehicles. San Luis is a distant second, followed by Douglas.
What is measured?
Personal vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Data include frequent crossings by local residents, as well as crossings by people traveling to destinations away from the border for the purpose of business, medical services, visiting family and friends, shopping, or leisure. The number of personal vehicle passenger crossings is available for each of Arizona’s six border ports of entry, although the records are available only for northbound crossings. Included are all travelers regardless of country of origin, i.e., Mexican nationals, U.S., and Canadian citizens returning from trips to Mexico. The selected southern border ports of entry used in this analysis are: Douglas, Lukeville, Naco, Nogales, San Luis, and Sasabe in Arizona; Calexico East in California; Santa Teresa in New Mexico; and, El Paso, Hidalgo, and Laredo in Texas.