BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK -- In 2002, three unofficial river crossings were closed by border patrol. And locals on both sides were not happy with the decision because it stunted business and trade. Now that the port of entry at Boquillas at the Big Bend National Park has been proposed, residents may be pleased by the announcement to continue the progress of opening the port.
While the proposed crossing will not have a bridge, people will be encouraged to freely travel the Rio Grande by boat, swimming or wadding. Once on the other side,which ever side that may be, tourist can eat, shop, trade and return to the station with proper documents.
"From a business stand point,it would help a lot. it pretty much cut business in half when they close down the border in Rio Grande." Said Danny Ferguson, General Manager of Big Bend Resorts.
The port entry is located in an ecological treasure covering three million acres of land in big bend of Texas and protected areas of Mexico. The press conference today was held to discuss the bi-national management plan for the area and the protection of the United States.
"I said to our agents , this is our job is to maintain the safety and security of this border. its not withstanding in size and the threat potential is under control and we will keep it under control." said Alan Bersin.
The next closest border crossing is located 60 miles away, so people are anxious to get the Boquillas port of entry open. But, the amount of work and discussion that needs to take place between the two nations will take a long time, and the opening of the port to the public is a long ways away.
" Lets take this one step at a time. I am not in a position and would not make those decision in Washington dc in the abstract about what feels good. Its about what makes sense."said Bersin.
What's so interesting about this entry in the Big Bend National Park, is it will not only help business but be the first southern border entry to use technology such as videophone to control the crossing.