Congressman Vargas Spearheads San Ysidro Port of Entry Project Funding Effort

San Diego, California - Today, Rep.  Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Jerry Sanders, CEO and President of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, elected officials, and prominent members of the business community called on the House Appropriations Committee to fund the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project.  This money would allow the currently stalled project to begin moving forward.

“Funding the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project is a top priority for me,” said Rep. Juan Vargas.  “This cross-border region has immense potential for economic development.  Unfortunately, the current infrastructure sacrifices jobs, stunts growth, and impedes revenue.  Funding this project is critical to the overall economic strength of the region and our nation.”

Earlier this year, at the urging of the San Diego Democratic delegation, President Obama included $226 million for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project in his 2014 budget.  Now, with the bipartisan House and Senate passed budget deal, the focus turns to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, which are responsible for allocating the funds needed to move the project forward.  Denying funding would not only further delay the completion of the already stagnant project, but would cost the region billions of dollars in lost revenue and tens of thousands of jobs.

"The San Ysidro Port of Entry is an important engine for economic growth regionally and nationally," said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. "Completing this expansion project is essential for improving domestic supply chains, strengthening our national security and ensuring economic vitality."

“Finishing this project to expand and modernize the San Ysidro Port of Entry would yield significant economic benefits for San Diego and California at large, which is why a bipartisan coalition has come out to advocate for the necessary funding," Rep. Peters said. "It continues to be a top priority for me, and I'm proud to join with numerous other local leaders and organizations in pushing to get this done."

“I am thrilled that so many of California’s leaders have come together to demonstrate that we are united in growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Rep. Vargas.  “The border region is an unbelievable economic engine that cannot be ignored.”

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 our cross-border economies $7.2 billion in lost gross 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.  However, due to cuts in infrastructure funding, the U.S. has not yet been able to complete its side of the construction.

Rep. Juan Vargas and Rep. Scott Peters were joined by an impressive and prominent group of elected officials and businesses leaders, who have a clear understanding of the importance of the San Ysidro Land Port Of Entry Renovation and Expansion Project.  Those in attendance were Fmr. Mayor Jerry Sanders, President and  CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria; San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox; Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez; State Senator Marty Block; Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney; San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez; Joe Terzi, President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority; Jason Wells, Executive Director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce; Efrain Ibarra, Assistant Director of the South County Economic Development Council; Theresa Andrews, Director of Public Policy for CONNECT; Gary Gallegos, Executive Director of the San Diego Association of Governments; and representatives from both U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s offices.

Additional information