The rail industry is demanding the Biden administration immediately allow trains to cross the southern border with Mexico that officials shut in response to a surge in crossings by migrants.
The Association of American Railroads, an industry trade group, issued a statement on Monday warning the suspension of operations in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas, will have negative consequences for consumers.
“The urgency of reopening these crossings and restoring rail service between the two nations cannot be overstated,” said Ian Jefferies, AAR’s president and CEO. “Every day the border remains closed unleashes a cascade of delay across operations on both sides of the border, impacting customers and ultimately consumers.”
The US Customs and Border Protection announced the temporary suspension on Sunday, citing a “recent resurgence of smuggling organizations moving migrants through Mexico via freight trains.”
The rail industry said the shutdown most directly and immediately impacts Union Pacific and BNSF, and the customers those carriers serve. AAR said the two railroads operate 24 trains a day at these crossings, moving auto parts, agriculture, finished vehicles, chemicals and other goods.
“As CBP continues to address the exceptionally challenging humanitarian crisis, railroads urge CBP to also safeguard the nation’s supply chain from further disruption,” Jefferies said.
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