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United States - Mexico Unit

El Paso and San Diego Quarantine Stations


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the U.S.–Mexico Unit (USMU) in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) in 2009. The Unit was created to enhance collaboration between the United States and Mexico on binational public health issues and events of mutual concern. USMU serves as CDC’s official liaison with the Mexico Secretariat of Health.

The Unit implements CDC programs that focus on the U.S.–Mexico border, including managing CDC Quarantine Stations in El Paso and San Diego and conducting binational infectious disease surveillance projects.

USMU staff are located at or work with state and local health departments in El Paso, Texas; and San Diego, California. Additional DGMQ staff are assigned to the Unit to help with other CDC programs.


The USMU quarantine jurisdiction includes all ports of entry in Arizona, New Mexico, San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California, and South and West Texas (Health Districts 8–11). This includes the seaports of San Diego; Port Isabel and Corpus Christi, Texas; and the U.S.–Mexico land border crossings and international airports.

Quarantine Station Activities

Illness response

  • Respond to reports of illness at land border crossings, international airports, and on maritime vessels (cruise and cargo).
  • Review medical records of migrants who will reside permanently in the United States. Notify state and local health departments of any migrants with specific medical conditions that need prompt evaluation or treatment.
  • Assist cross-border, tuberculosis (TB) patients with continuity of treatment.

Binational Communication and Partnership

  • Facilitate high level public health communication between CDC and Mexico Secretariat of Health.
  • Communicate among U.S. and Mexico public health officials and humanitarian agencies.
  • Detect, notify, and investigate communicable disease cases with partner health officials and border protection agencies in the United States and Mexico.
  • Help coordinate binational response to outbreak investigations and other public health events affecting the U.S.–Mexico border region.
  • Collaborate and help support binational surveillance and disease control projects, such as Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS) and binational TB projects (Cure-TB, TB-Net, Project Juntos).
  • Provide technical assistance and subject matter expertise to U.S.–Mexico federal and state agencies on binational infectious disease issues.

Research and Preparedness

  • Conduct public health research on food-borne, vaccine preventable, and vector-borne diseases that affect cross-border populations.
  • Partner with other U.S. federal agencies and local and state health departments in preparedness activities related to quarantine and isolation at international ports of entry.
  • Evaluate binational surveillance systems.

Contact Information: CDC U.S.–Mexico Unit

(866) 638-9753 24-hour access

On call: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


CDC San Diego Quarantine Station

Office Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. PT

3851 Rosecrans St., Suite #715
San Diego, CA 92110-3115

Phone (daytime): (619) 692-5665
Fax: (619) 692-8821


CDC El Paso Quarantine Station

Office Hours of Operation: Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. MT

601 Sunland Park Drive, Suite 200,
El Paso, TX 79912

Phone (daytime): (915) 834-5950
Fax: (915) 834-5973
U.S.-Mexico land border crossing at El Paso.

U.S.-Mexico land border crossing at El Paso. Photo courtesy of Texas Department of Health Services - Office of Border Health.

Ports of Entry Statistics 2008 - 2009

Land Border Crossings
  • Arizona: 18,644,254 crossings at 6 ports of entry
    (44% vehicular and 56% pedestrian)
  • California: 44,690,399 crossings at 7 ports of entry
    (66% vehicular and 34% pedestrian)
  • New Mexico: 968,888 crossings at 2 ports of entry
    (77% vehicular and 23% pedestrian)
  • Texas: 64,527,307 crossings at 11 ports of entry
    (71% vehicular and 29% pedestrian)
Total Land Border Crossings: 128,830,848
Major Airport Arrivals
San Diego International Airport
  • 216,135 international passengers
  • 36 international flights per week
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • 936,107 international passengers
  • 92 international flights per week
Total International Arrivals at Airports: 1,152,242
Major Seaport Arrivals
San Diego Cruise Ship Port
  • 408,452 passengers
  • 224 cruise ships (Usual itinerary includes ports of call in Mexico.)