Congressman Vargas Applauds Inclusion of Calexico Port of Entry Funding in President’s Budget

Washington, DC - Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) proudly announced that $98 million for the Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) reconfiguration and expansion project was included in the budget released by President Obama.  The funds would allow for the construction and completion of Phase 1 of the project.

“I am thrilled that the President has included the funding necessary to complete Phase 1 of the Calexico West Land Port of Entry (LPOE) in his budget,” said Rep. Vargas.  “Investing in crucial border infrastructure will increase the region’s economic potential and stimulate job growth. The Calexico West LPOE project will improve domestic supply chains and expand commerce for the region and the nation.”

Earlier this year, Representatives Juan Vargas, Susan Davis (CA-53), Scott Peters (CA-52), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), and Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-3), wrote a letter to the President urging him to include funding for the Calexico West LPOE reconfiguration and expansion project in his FY 2015 Budget.  Calexico’s LPOE, located in Imperial County, is a pedestrian and vehicle inspection facility constructed in 1974.  It serves more than 16,000 privately-owned vehicles (POVs) and 20,000 pedestrian crossings on a daily basis.  In a 2007 study, the Imperial Valley Association of Governments estimated that delays due to border wait times cost California businesses an estimated $436 million and 5,639 jobs.

“The local Chamber of Commerce is ecstatic about this very important first step in the funding process,” said Carlton Hargrave, President of the Calexico Chamber of Commerce.  “The current Port of Entry is outdated and obsolete.  Many studies have shown the long lines are responsible for billions of dollars in lost revenue for not only our local economy, but for the whole U.S. economy.   The new Port of Entry will also address the health and safety, air pollution and Homeland Security issues that currently exist at this port.  We look forward to having this move forward as soon as possible.”

“I am understandably elated that our efforts are beginning to pay off,” said Chairman John Renison of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors.  “My appreciation to the Congressman for his efforts in reaching across the aisle for the bipartisan support we have received thus far for funding the downtown Calexico Port of Entry. We here in Imperial County are united in our efforts to ensure the Port of Entry becomes a reality. This will ensure security at our borders, as well as reduced pollution due to car exhausts and most importantly an efficient border that will enable both countries to reap economic benefits by cross border travelers.”

It is now up to Congress, through the appropriations process, to fulfill the President’s budget request.  Congressmen Vargas, Davis, Peters, Ruiz, and Grijalva will continue to work together to secure funding for the Calexico Port of Entry.

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