NOGALES, Ariz. - As cars cross the border from Mexico into the United States at both the DeConcini Port of Entry and Mariposa Port of Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers who inspect them will have more protection from nature's elements.
Traveling across the #border at the Nogales Port any time soon? You might notice a different look, thanks to the addition of shade sails. DeConcini & Mariposa Ports just got them. @kgun9pic.twitter.com/pus7LJuFBU
That's all thanks to four new "shade sails," that were just installed at both ports. They are big canopies that are designed to help keep officers out of the sun, and other severe weather.
"It's there to provide shade to our officers that are working," Supervisory CBP Officer Hugo Nunez said.
He spent years as an officer at the Nogales Port, on the ground and inspecting vehicles, things that these CBP officers do. Inclement weather can make their long shifts very rough, according to Nunez.
"It can get pretty brutal," he said. "It could be as little as a couple [of hours], to as much as six to eight hours total."
The canopies look different at each port, as they're designed to outfit different structures. The ones at the DeConcini Port of Entry are directly overhead the area where cars exit the port or head into the area where secondary inspection happens. At the Mariposa Port of Entry, they are on the sides of the structure, to keep the sun out.
"Any enhancement for the better of our staff to me, is a plus," Nunez said.
While both ports may look a bit different now, Nunez explained the new look won't have any affect on people's cross-border commute. This change was designed to benefit the officers on the ground, he said.
"Nothing's changing for the people that are coming across," he said. "It really isn't."