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U.S. Halts Railway Operations With Mexico Amid Migrant Surge

U.S. Halts Railway Operations With Mexico Amid Migrant Surge

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is temporarily suspending operations at the international railway crossing bridges in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas, because of a new rise in border crossings.

“CBP is continuing to surge all available resources to safely process migrants in response to increased levels of migrant encounters at the Southwest Border, fueled by smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals,” the agency said in a statement released on Dec. 17.

“After observing a recent resurgence of smuggling organizations moving migrants through Mexico via freight trains, CBP is taking additional actions to surge personnel and address this concerning development, including in partnership with Mexican authorities," CBP officials added.

The economic cost of the shutdown is already being felt, with negative impacts on importing agricultural products, food and beverages, automotive vehicles and parts, consumer goods, and industrial commodities, according to a statement from Union Pacific Railroad.

“While the company understands this is a complex humanitarian crisis, most migrants are not crossing the border on trains. Union Pacific uses our own employees, police force, and technology including an x-ray system that uses gamma-ray imaging, to look for people and contraband,” the statement reads.

“Finding contraband before it makes its way into the U.S. is crucial to the safety and security of our railroad, our employees and the communities we serve. Every day that the border is closed, Union Pacific is forced to embargo customers’ goods on more than 60 trains, or nearly 4,500 rail cars, with an equivalent of goods being held in Mexico,” the company said.

The railway closure is the latest in a number of measures undertaken in order to address the border crisis, which is fueled by record numbers of illegal aliens crossing into the U.S.

Within 36 hours of the CBP announcement, migrant encounters at the southern border reached the highest single day total in U.S. history.

More than 12,600 migrants were encountered at the border, while thousands were still waiting to be processed in Eagle Pass, according to Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, who cited CBP sources.

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