16 Aug 2008

Charge mooted to cross US - Mexico border

3:07 pm on 16 August 2008

US and Mexican states are considering charging a fee for border crossings to raise money for infrastructure improvements that would reduce congestion at border posts.

Governors from 10 states met Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a conference of border governors in Los Angeles on Friday.

In a joint statement, they called for a substantial reduction in wait times to cross the border by 2013, and backed a drive by US and Mexican federal agencies for funding to hire more border inspectors.

They also backed measures to curb crime in the borderlands, including human and gun trafficking.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger suggested a charge of $US5 could be used to get more people across the border quicker and more efficiently.

He said other options include charging to use certain lanes of traffic at the border.