SAN DIEGO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Consistent with our commitment to help develop a modernized U.S.-Mexico border that promotes both economic competitiveness and enhanced security, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Presidential permit for the expansion and reconfiguration of the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, California. Under Executive Order 11423, as amended, the Secretary of State may issue Presidential permits for international border crossings after finding that they will be in the national interest. This particular permit grants the General Services Administration (GSA) authorization to expand, renovate, and maintain the San Ysidro vehicle and pedestrian border crossing.

The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, established over 35 years ago, is the busiest in the Western Hemisphere. However, its configuration is insufficient for current needs. The Presidential permit authorizes a three phase project that will build new lanes and inspection booths for vehicles and additional space for processing pedestrian traffic. The project will expedite vehicle inspections while simultaneously reducing traffic congestion and pollution in communities on both sides of the border.

Issuing the San Ysidro Presidential permit is just one of many steps the Department of State has taken, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and the government of Mexico, to develop needed infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border. In January 2010, for example, the United States and Mexico inaugurated the Anzalduas International Bridge at McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico, the first new U.S.-Mexico border crossing in over a decade. In November 2010 the United States and Mexico opened a new commercial border crossing at San Luis, Arizona, and in December the two countries inaugurated a new bridge between Donna, Texas, and Rio Bravo, Mexico. In January, the State Department issued a Presidential permit authorizing GSA to expand and reconfigure the Mariposa commercial crossing in Nogales, Arizona. These and other ongoing improvements to border infrastructure will expedite trade and enhance the safety and security of our border with Mexico.