Boquillas Port of Entry to Celebrate 2nd Anniversary of Reopening

Boquillas Port of Entry to Celebrate 2nd Anniversary of Reopening

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK/BOQUILLAS - Friday will mark the two-year anniversary of the opening of the Boquillas Port of Entry in Big Bend National Park. It was closed shortly after 9/11.

Since it's reopening, the town of Boquillas is slowly getting back to the way it was before and this port of entry itself is one-of-a-kind on the southern border.

Set on the border of Big Bend National Park and Coahuila, México is the Boquillas Port of Entry.

"It's considered a Class B port of entry. The reason for that is you don't have any vehicular traffic or truck traffic come through here. This is more pedestrian traffic," said Officer Alex Leos, Assistant Port Director of the Boquillas and Presidio Port of Entries.

The port has quite a bit to brag about. It's state-of-the-art kiosks are exclusive on the southern border.

"They're also prominent on the northern border. On the southern border, that I'm aware of, Boquillas is the only one that uses that right now," said Leos.

Travelers press their documents on the kiosk screen. From there, officers in El Paso will process the information. Then you just pick up the phone, answer a couple of questions before you're free to go. It's also an inter-agency port of entry, comprised of Border Patrol, the National Parks Service and U.S. Customs Border Protection.

"It really provides an added asset to enforcement here in the south area of West Texas," said Leos.

CBP says more than 16,000 travelers have crossed through to arrive at the river and cross by boat into Boquillas, Coahuila, Mexico.

"It's been steady and I think as it goes on in the future you'll see a lot more travelers coming to Boquillas," said Leos.

Coming up Friday in the second part of our special report, we take you across the border inside the community of Boquillas, Coahuila, where for the first time in history, the entire community has electricity and it's all generated by solar power.