Rush to certify vaccination cards to cross border creates long lines and wait times

Border Report Tour

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Miguel Angel Rodriguez was one of the thousands of people to show up this week at a state of Baja California facility hoping to certify his vaccination card.

Proof of vaccinations is one of the prerequisites set up by the United States for people who will once again be able to cross the border when essential travel restrictions are lifted on Nov. 8.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez says he hasn’t seen his parents, who live in the U.S., in person for more than 18 months. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

“My parents live in the United States so I need to get certified so I can cross and visit them,” Rodriguez said.

He told Border Report he hasn’t seen his parents in person in more than 18 months.

Like many, Rodriguez has been prohibited from crossing the border for non-essential travel reasons. He said he was willing to wait as long as necessary if it meant getting certified so he can see his parents once again.

Others shared similar stories, although Monica Marquez was upset having to wait for a long period of time.

“It’s ridiculous, with so much technology available why the Mexican government hasn’t set up a system to expedite the processing. It’s all very disappointing,” she said.

Staff at the site stated they were taken by surprise by the numbers who are showing up.

Gilberto Herrera is one of the supervisors at a Tijuana, Baja California state office processing people’s vaccination cards. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

“It was 10 maybe 20 people, 30 at the most who were coming in,” said Gilberto Herrera, one of the supervisors at the site. “The day after the announcement, 500 came in and a day later it was 1,000.”

And according to Herrera, they have not stopped coming in.

One man named José Luis said he wanted to be ready to go shopping next month.

“I want to cross for ‘Black Friday,'” which is the day after Thanksgiving when major retailers historically lower their prices as a way to draw shoppers.

José Luis said he’s been trying for two months to get everything in order since evidence of his second dose has not been coming up in the system.

“I’ve been trying to get clarification and I can’t get anything done. … I got the Pfizer shot back in June and I need to be ready in case they insist at the border, I don’t want to wait on the system anymore. Unfortunately, this is happening to a lot of people in other parts of the country,” he said.

The state of Baja California says it has set up 40 satellite offices around the city of Tijuana to help process everyone looking for a vaccine certification.

“We will get to everyone and we’ll make adjustments if need be,” said Herrera.

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