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Why the wait time to cross to Juarez is inhumane

Hugo Hinojosa
Border commuters await long hours to cross to Ciudad Juarez, Feb. 13, 2022.

If you are a fellow border commuter, you probably know the pain of crossing from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso every day. Unless you possess the privilege of owning a SENTRI card, and the tag for the express line, you are left to the will of destiny to cross in the mornings.  

Luckily, it usually takes one or two albums or podcast episodes to get you going. Heck, you could even hear NPR or our own Prospector podcast (which I will shamelessly tag beside this story so you can listen to our content). 

However, it is at the crossing back to Juarez where we all become mere mortals. There is nothing like a two-hour-line to feel your youth decay as every particle of oxygen flows through your body.  

You may be thinking, “Well, it can’t be that bad, is just like in the morning, you simply get another album to listen to.” That would be a fair thing to say if we lived in an ideal world of kindness and respect, but here at the borderline is apocalyptic chaos.  

El Paso Administration recently concluded the construction of the Cordova Americas Bridge. But like a toxic friendship, the first weeks are cute until condescendence comes in. Indeed, the CBP officers are all calling us stupid when they bottle the three lines coming from I-20 into one just for fun. They take it as a joke, but it hurts our self-esteem, nonetheless.  

Now, if we compare it to the Downtown bridge, Cordova becomes a 3-hour walk in the park. 

I remember once arriving at 6 p.m. and having to start the line at Overland Ave. In terms of distance, yes, it is shorter. But the truth is, reader, there are five lights between me and liberty. Morality rots as every light turns green and I only move 3 inches.  

And it does not get any better as you advance. Paisano becomes “Mad Max Fury Road.” If you let someone pass you over, you will be greeted with a symphony of claxons, and I WILL be playing the violin No.3. A random car used its horn pad (yes, that is what it is called) for 15 seconds (and yes, I count them). We were all thinking of it, but she did it.  

Honestly, we cannot trust each other. I tried to let someone cross the street and a truck cut in front of me. In fact, let us make it a consensus not to trust men in trucks. Though, that is an opinion piece for another time.  

As you get to the entrance after an hour and a half of misery, you have no option but to accept your predicament. But mind you, I will be paying $3.50 to the government for making me wait in this line.  

If we hold dull professors to a high standard, why don’t we treat these wait times with the same ferocity? I can handle it for one hour, sure. But if it takes more time to get to my own house on my way back from school when I can be travelling to Ruidoso, then why are we accepting it? 

We know it is unnecessary, it is a waste of our time, and, just like the other (frankly, quite more important) issues of the border, is being handled poorly. So, I am saying it first, the wait times at the border are inhumane and we need accountability. 

Hugo Hinojosa is the designer and can be reached at [email protected]; @fotohinojosa on Instagram.  

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About the Contributor
Hugo Hinojosa, Designer
Hugo Hinojosa is the graphic designer at The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in digital media production with a minor in film. Previously, he was a photo editor and a staff photographer for The Prospector. Hugo currently works as a freelance photographer in both El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Hugo completed his first internship with the El Paso Times on January 2022. He is now graduating in May, and expects to pursue a career in photography, graphic and editorial design, advertising or management.
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Why the wait time to cross to Juarez is inhumane