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30,000 Expected To Cross Border During Mexfest

June 27, 1987|STACY FINZ

SAN YSIDRO — The United States Customs Office in San Ysidro is expecting to process as many as 30,000 border crossers Tuesday during the MexFest, said Jerry Martin, port director for U.S. Customs in San Ysidro.

Martin said Customs will open a minimum of 16 lanes at the crossing and might open as many as 20. All the pedestrian lanes will be open, he said.

"An event this large has a major impact on our operation," Martin said. 'I'm hoping the young people will be careful and not bring back any drugs. Anyone who is in possession of anything illegal will be arrested.

"We're going to get traffic through as fast as possible, but we're going to be searching and will have a zero tolerance."

Martin also said his workers expect 30 to 60 buses full of concert-goers to cross the border after the event. There will be three bus lanes at the crossing where riders will be asked to exit the shuttle, be inspected and enter a new bus. All buses will have security guard ride-alongs.

Customs official Rolland Johnson said that Customs will triple each shift's staff on Tuesday.

San Diego Police Capt. James Sing said that the southern division of the Police Department will also increase its staff between midnight and 4 a.m.

"We're adjusting some hours and making ourselves able to accommodate whatever problems arise," he said. "We're speculating that a lot of kids will drive themselves. But we're alerting the departments in the areas where buses will be bringing people back to their cars. We will also have foot patrols at the border area.

"But this is really nothing new to us. Working the border area, we see thousands of people cross a year. I feel we're pretty prepared."

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