NOGALES, Ariz. – Changes could be coming to the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales.
“The DeConcini Port of Entry is the busiest port here in Arizona. [It’s] the main tourism gateway for Arizona,” said Guillermo Valencia, Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority chairman. “It sees a lot of passenger vehicle traffic, and it’s our only rail traffic port of entry.”
Valencia said the busy port has not seen any updates in a while.
“The last major improvements here at DeConcini were in 1980, and it’s in dire need of repairs,” he said.
Valencia said the Port Authority has been in talks with federal partners about changes they would like to see, mainly security updates.
“We need to make sure we have our officers working in a secure environment. As you can tell, they’re working right on the international boundary and modern-day ports of entry don’t have that,” he said. “There’s a buffer zone between where the cars come in, and the international boundary, and where they’re inspecting cars. So number one is security. And No. 2, we need to enhance security at the port of entry.”
Valencia said the plan is still in the very early stages, starting with a feasibility study. He said he is hopeful they can make it happen.
“If we can tell our visitors or our crossers that we have a secure corridor and we can guarantee them that, I think there’s going to be more people wanting to use our ports of entry,” he said.