Sonoran Governor: Effort To Halt Nonessential Southbound Border Crossings To Start This Weekend

Published: Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 2:50pm
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
Claudia Pavlovich

Starting this weekend, Sonora’s governor says those crossing into her state for nonessential reasons will be asked to turn around to slow coronavirus spread.

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, and cases spiking in Arizona, Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said filters to turn back tourists and other such travelers will be in place at border ports in San Luis Rio Colorado, Nogales and Agua Prieta. The effort is being coordinated with the Mexican federal government.

Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking Mexican nationals and others to avoid trips to Mexico, and is advising would-be travelers of the planned filters in Sonora, according to a release from the consulate in Nogales, Arizona.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is also discouraging nonessential trips, cross-border or otherwise.

“(Ducey) encourages all Arizonans to stay home, and that includes avoiding unnecessary travel as both Arizona and our partners in Sonora manage this crisis,” spokesman Patrick Ptak said in response to a request for comment on Pavlovich’s plan.

“I agree with this,” said frequent border crosser Josh Rubin, an executive with Javid LLC, which helps manufacturers setup operations in Nogales, Sonora. “This is definitely something that should have happened, and should have taken place a long time ago.”

Crossings for work, like Rubin’s, would be allowed under Pavlovich’s proposal. Other exemptions include crossings for commercial or medical purposes, according to a state release. Similar restrictions have been in place for northbound travelers since a binational agreement went into effect in late March. It has since been extended several times.

Rubin is worried that the way the new restrictions are implemented could spell long waits for legitimate crossers like him.

“I think it's going to be a work in progress,” he said.

A spokesman for Pavlovich said the filters will be operated by state officials, possibly with assistance from state and local police, in coordination with the National Migration Institute.

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