Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) proudly announced that $216 million for the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project was included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget released by President Obama. The money would fund Phase II of the project.
“I am thrilled President Obama continued to recognize the critical importance of border infrastructure to the overall growth and sustainability of our country,” said Rep. Vargas. “The San Ysidro Port of Entry is an undeniable economic engine for the San Diego border region and the nation. The funding in the President’s budget will allow for the construction of an efficient border, which will stimulate commerce, create jobs, and increase productivity.
Earlier this year the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Modernization and Expansion Project received $226 million in funding in the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill. It is now up to Congress, through the appropriations process, to fulfill the President’s FY 2015 budget request. The San Diego Democratic Delegation, along with business leaders in the region have promised to continue working together to fight for the completion of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry expansion project.
“By requesting funds for the final phase of construction for the San Ysidro port of entry, the President recognizes the importance of this border crossing for Southern California and for the country,” Senator Feinstein said. “Revitalizing and modernizing this key transportation hub will speed transit for more than 11 million cars, 8 million pedestrians and tens of thousands of buses each year. I intend to work with my Senate colleagues to ensure this project is fully funded by Congress.”
“I am so pleased that the President included this vital funding to help expand the busiest border crossing in the western hemisphere,” Senator Boxer said. “These critical improvements will create jobs, speed the flow of commerce and improve border security.”
“Border funding and infrastructure is a top priority for the San Diego Chamber because of the economic impactto the mega region,” said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Infrastructure plays a vital role in facilitating international commerce - a critical component in our global competitiveness. We are committed to working together with Rep. Vargas and other business and community leaders just as we did earlier this year when we advocated for Phase III funding.”
In the coming months, Representative Vargas, in conjunction with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, plans to lead a working group with other stakeholders to organize a collaborative strategy to ensure the approval of funds through the House and Senate budget process.
“This is the infrastructure project that keeps on giving as it will inject billions of dollars into our economy and create jobs,” said Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53). "The President and our local delegation understand that boosting the middle class means investing in our infrastructure.”
“Improving infrastructure and efficiency at ports of entry, including San Ysidro and Calexico, will create jobs in both the short and long term and help grow our regional economy,” Rep. Peters (CA-52) said. “I am glad to see that the President has included funding for these necessary projects and I’ll work with my San Diego colleagues and our Senators to get this money appropriated, just as we were successful in doing last year.”
The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is the world’s busiest land port, serving more than 50,000 vehicles and approximately 25,000 pedestrian crossings coming into the country every day. In a 2007 study, the San Diego Association of Governments estimated that delays due to border wait times cost our cross-border economies $7.2 billion in lost gross output and more than 62,000 jobs.
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire US/Mexico border. Vargas is currently serving his first term in Congress. He represented the 40th California State Senate District from 2010-2012, the 79th California State Assembly District from 2000–2006 and served on the San Diego City Council from 1993–2000.
—Rep. Juan Vargas's Office