SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — There was a short-lived glimmer of hope that PedWest would reopen Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce announced it had been told that the popular pedestrian border crossing the San Ysidro Port of Entry “would be reopening Dec 21.”
In a newsletter to its members and other interested parties, the chamber stated PedWest was going to open, although only in a northbound direction, and only from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
“Just in time for last-minute shoppers, visiting family members and those working during the holidays, it is our pleasure to inform you that as of 6:00am tomorrow, Wednesday, December 21, PedWest will re-open for northbound traffic!” the statement read.
But as anticipation grew when word started to filter out, the chamber sent out another statement reversing course.
The new statement said the chamber’s directors were told the decision by the “US Supreme Court to not terminate Title 42 had forced a change in PedWest’s re-opening.”
Title 42 is a public health order that allows the expulsion of asylum-seeking migrants to stop the cross-border spread of COVID-19.
Since PedWest was closed in April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic was beginning, it has opened briefly a only few times to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and several hundred asylum-seekers.
Before that, thousands of pedestrians crossed the border through here, taking some of the load off the other pedestrian crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, where wait times are measured in hours.
But for the most part, PedWest has remained closed for the past 32 months, and there has been an outcry by community members and business owners on both sides of the border to reopen the facility as a way to expedite border crossings and increase revenue.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has maintained it has not opened PedWest due to the lack of personnel.
When Border Report notified CBP about the confusion and asked about the likelihood that PedWest will reopen soon, a spokesperson sent a brief reply:
“Unfortunately, we have no additional updates regarding the reopening of the PedWest facility. … CBP is continually assessing its resources and looking at this on a consistent basis. Our resources of course must take into account CBP’s other vital priorities, including our mission to protect public safety and national security, interdict the flow of narcotics and contraband, and facilitate lawful trade and travel.”