Tag Archives: Mexican border crossing

El Paso again

Finally at 4:45 we met up with mom and dad in the Barnes and Noble parking lot in El Paso. Mex got back to the hotel in Juarez about 11:30. So the 2 1/2 hours at the Consulate this morning was his shortest visit yet! In order to get his official visa we had to go to the border station about 12 miles west of Juarez in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. It was about an hour drive and we got there at 1:30. It was nice because there were very few cars. The officer didn’t search us at all. I had to wait in the car outside the fence at the border station until 2:55 when I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to go inside to check on him. I saw he was at the counter turning in his big pile of papers so I went back outside to wait. At exactly 3pm we hopped in the car!

Line at Santa Teresa border crossing west of Juarez

I just can’t resist sharing this one detail…. At the Consulate they gave Mex a huge stack of papers (all our 100 pages plus some more) in a manila envelope with just the corner cut off so you could barely see what was inside. There were instructions that it was to be opened only by the border agent, similar to his medical documents. On the outside there was a summary page stapled with his name and case number, etc. I was happily reading through it as we were driving towards our exit. I got to the occupation part and burst out laughing… It read “house husband.” I just about burst a gut and Mex was not very amused. I guess since he had to quit his job before leaving because of the length of time he is technically a “house husband.” He will be off like a shot once we get back to Minnesota to find a job for sure now!

On the "Right" side of the fence!

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Filed under Immigration, Permanent Resident Visa/Green card

Cruzando la frontera (crossing the border)


Esta fotografia muestra entrada a la Ciudad Juarez. Esta bandera mexicana es cerca de 162′ por 93′ largo. La entrada a la Ciudad Juarez fue muy facil pero la entrada a los Estados Unidos se toma horas.
(The border crossing at Juarez. Easy in, not so easy out! We went across the Bridge of the Americas/Cordova Bridge)


Este pasillo con muros de metal plateado tomamos hacia las oficinas de migracion mexicana. Fue donde mi esposa recibio su tarjeta de turista. Este es la primera vez que ella visita Mexico. Ella esta muy contenta.

(The metal bars along the path to get my tourist card at the border. If driving, I suggest being in the right lane when you cross. That way you can park at the information center that is right across the border and walk to the office to get your tourist card. You only need the tourist card if you are going outside of the border zone- the first 20 – 30 km from the border. The card is free when you pick it up but you must stop at a Mexican bank and pay a fee before you exit the country. It was $237 pesos (about $20 US). Also, if you drive a car in to the country they stamp your passport with a little car (if you fly there is a little plane stamp) and you must exit the country the same way or provide very, very good documentation on why you aren’t.


Esta es la calle frente al hotel donde estamos ospedados. Es una de las calles muy transitadas que debes tener mucha precaucion con los autos y topes y los hoyos invecibles.

(The very busy cross street by our hotel – Paseo Triunfo de la Republica and Avenida Lopez Mateos. Since we don’t want to go far from the hotel in the next five days in Ciudad Juarez due to its reputation as very dangerous, it is good we are close to a lot of restaurants, though mostly American – McD’s, Burger King, Domino’s, Wendy’s and even Applebee’s are within a block)


Gracias que nuestro hotel donde estamos hospidados esta muy seguro, limpio, y con alberca pero no tiene agua templada. Tambien podemos oir el trafico.

(Thank goodness the Hotel Lucerna where we are staying is very nice and here is the pool where you can almost not hear the street. It is only three blocks from the Consulate where he has his interview, although they are three dangerous blocks as criminals target people going to interviews because they know they have large amounts of cash. It also has free wireless internet and secure parking with a 24 hour guard.)

Ese la vista desde nuestro hotel. Observando hacia la ciudad de El Paso durante la tarde. Desde la vista de la montana podiamos ver la ciudad Juarez. Cuando aun no cruzabamos la frontera.

(The star is on the hill in El Paso where we stood just last night and took the picture of Juarez and El Paso. I guess it’s the Texans answer to the giant Mexican flag that can be seen from everywhere.)

Updated 1/15/2011-

As I look back thru the blog I wrote almost three years ago and am amazed at how I left out our real emotions. I didn’t mention the way we drove around El Paso all morning, stopping at a coffee shop, then eating our last meal stateside at a Chinese buffet with my parents. I didn’t mention how, as my parents drove out of the hotel parking lot, we got in the car and collapsed in to each other sobbing so violently it felt like we were suffocating. I didn’t mention how we clung to each other for more than five minutes, trembling with thoughts of our unknown future. The pent-up tears from all the fear and frustration we had felt about the immigration process since our first meeting with the attorney three years before poured out. Too this day I have never felt so empty and fearful, nor have I seen my husband in that distraught condition. It was horrid and I probably didn’t write about it back then because I didn’t want my friends and family to worry or feel sorry for us or know how deeply scared we were of the process ahead of us. Now I can look back and bring up that emptiness in my memory. I believe sharing that is very important because that is the feeling of an immigrant and an immigrant’s spouse facing the unknown. Thankfully, we were facing that unknown future together and could help fill each others emptiness in our time of fear.

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Filed under Chihuahua State, Español, Immigration, Mexico, Travel Tips