A rumor that the U.S. border with Mexico would be sealed once war began with Iraq is being blamed for lighter than average traffic between San Diego and Tijuana this morning.
Those trying to enter in their cars from Mexico waited about five minutes to enter the U.S. That€™s far shorter than the normal wait times of between 45 and 60 minutes an average weekday.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Vince Bond says the decrease in cars is likely due to a rumor that the San Ysidro Port of Entry would be sealed if the U.S. attacked Iraq. Bond says the rumor has no basis and that California€™s ports of entry are “open for business.”
Inspectors are continuing to closely scrutinize identification and travel documents of those entering the United States since this week€™s decision to raise the nation€™s security level to “orange.”
More cargo trucks entering the U.S. at the Otay Mesa commercial port of entry are being searched at random and inspectors are using a variety of methods including high-tech gamma and X-Ray machines to detect false panels and hidden cargo.
Border officials staff booths at California€™s ports of entry have begun to wear radiation inspection badges as a part of their uniforms.
The pager-sized badges are designed to emit a signal in the presence of radiation waves and provide an indication of the level of radiation.