Long border lines hinder shoppers who want to buy in the U.S.
Reporter: Craig Smith
NOGALES, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - As holiday shopping gears up, some dedicated shoppers have to show some extra dedication to even get to the stores. They're shoppers from Mexico -- and border issues are making lines at the mall seem mild.
In Nogales, Morley Avenue is busy with shoppers from Mexico and merchants happy to see good customers ready to spend.
And it's more than products and selection bringing them in. Economics make shopping stateside a bargain.
Gregory Kory of Kory's Mercantile says, "The currency in Mexico actually went down a little bit, so that means they have more buying power in the U.S."
But merchants say customers who want to line up to buy have to line up for long, long times at the border. That's making some people shop less often and making others stay away altogether.
Merchants like Bruce Bracker of Bracker's Clothing understand border security is tighter now, but say that means ports of entry need more inspectors to keep bad lines from driving off good customers.
"What we're down here saying is there's legitimate goods and services -- legitimate commerce -- that drives the economy in the state of Arizona," Bracker said. "And we need the federal government to acknowledge that by supplying us with the proper amount of Customs officials to man the ports of entry."
Edith Serrano, the local spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection, refers staffing issues to headquarters but says travelers can do things to get through lines faster.
"Well coming back, we encourage all travelers to have all the documents that they are going to present readily available to the officer so they can certainly expedite their processing time," Serrano said.
Customs has set up special programs to speed things up for regular Border crossers. For example, joining the SENTRI program pre-clears crossers and lets them move to a priority lane. You can learn more at the CBP Website.