The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed passage Wednesday of a House appropriations bill that includes $216 million for the final phase of a project to modernize and expand the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
“Business and community leaders are unified in prioritizing this project as it strengthens our competitive viability on a global scale,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber. “The San Diego economy will benefit from this project with billions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs.”
The bill must still pass the Senate, and the White House has expressed concern about aspects of the legislation unrelated to San Ysidro, but the chamber said it is committed to “continuing our efforts in advocating for this funding” as the legislation proceeds through Congress.
“I am proud to be part of the bipartisan San Diego delegation that made the San Ysidro Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project a top priority,” said Rep. Juan Vargas. whose 51st District includes the border area. “Although I greatly disagree with many of the provisions within the bill, I’m pleased that its approval on the House floor brings us one step closer to fully funding this project.”
Early this year, at the urging of the San Diego delegation, Congress approved $226 million for the third phase of the project. The funding approved by the House on Wednesday is for completion of this long-awaited project.
The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, the world’s busiest land port, serves more than 50,000 vehicles and approximately 25,000 pedestrian crossings every day. In a 2007 study, the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that delays due to border wait times cost $7.2 billion in lost output and more than 62,000 jobs. In 2011, the United States and Mexico agreed to modernize and expand the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry.
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