By René Kladzyk / El Paso Matters
Nathaly Gonzalez crosses from El Paso to Ciudad Juárez a couple times a week. She brings groceries to her grandparents — they prefer the bulk foods sold on the U.S. side. She visits her brother and takes her dog to the vet. Gonzalez and her mother are dual U.S.-Mexican citizens and live in El Paso; her brother and grandparents are Mexican citizens and live in Ciudad Juárez. Things have changed significantly for Gonzalez and her family since the COVID-19 travel restrictions went into effect on March 21, 2020, but she still crosses with ease, regardless of whether her reasons for crossing could be defined as “essential.”
“I’ve rarely had any issues with (Customs and Border Protection),” Gonzalez said. “And then crossing from El Paso to Juárez nobody really asks you anything.