Facilities remain on high alert

October 09, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Federal authorities at the ports of entry here remained on the highest state of alert in the wake of U.S. military strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

U.S. Customs Service and Immigration and Naturalization Service officials said they have been on the highest state of alert since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the country.

They said the fact that the U.S. combat mission has gotten under way has not changed the status at the ports, adding the high state of alert is going to be in effect for an indefinite period of time.

Customs and INS inspectors are going to continue to monitor both vehicle and pedestrian traffic more closely through the county's ports, which include two in the Calexico area and the Andrade port in eastern Imperial County.


Those trying to cross the ports can continue to expect more traffic and longer wait times, whether entering this country on foot or in a vehicle.

Officials with both agencies said the overwhelming attitude among port-crossers has been a sentiment of understanding that inspections are necessary for the country's security.

Meanwhile, police departments throughout the Imperial Valley said they are patrolling city streets as part of normal operations.

Still, Calexico police Sgt. Jim Neujahr said what is taking place in the world is always in the back of officers' minds and they are watching out for any unusual activity.

In other news related to security, Imperial County Airport Manager David Conn said he has received no specific word on when or if National Guard troops will be placed at the airport.

He did say there is a possibility troops might be placed at the airport Friday, but he said as of this morning he has not received specific information.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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