San Francisco

Southern Border Problems Impacting Bay Area International Travelers

The situation at the southern border is impacting some international travelers in the Bay Area.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says some of the agents who interview Global Entry applicants at the San Francisco International Airport are being transferred to the border for the summer.

Limited staffing at the enrollment center means appointments made months ago are being canceled, leaving travelers who paid a $100 application fee feeling frustrated.

"It takes a lot of effort to even make an appointment," said Kathy Lamar from Glen Ellen said. "You have very few choices."

San Francisco resident Laura Smith got an email from CBP cancelling her June interview, appointment she made in April.

The email said CBP is sending officers to work at the southern border to help address the humanitarian and security crisis during the busy summer months.

"I had to log back into their system, look for dates, the next available date was July 23, I leave early August," Smith said.

She said she isn’t sure she will be approved to bypass long lines before she takes off.

"It's also a service I paid for, I'm not getting what I paid for which is frustrating and knowing I have a trip coming up kind of stressful," she added.

In a statement, CBP said in part, "Regrettably, this situation has forced the cancellation of some scheduled appointments and may make it difficult to schedule an immediate interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center."

CBP said people who just need that final interview can try and complete it when they arrive back in the U.S. at certain airports, SFO being one of them. However, there is no estimate on how long that may take. They also said people should expect limited appointment options through September.

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