U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the suspension of operations at international railway crossing bridges in two Texan cities, Eagle Pass and El Paso, along the southern border. The decision stems from a resurgence in smuggling organizations using freight trains to transport migrants from Mexico into the United States.
Starting December 18 at 8 a.m., CBP’s Office of Field Operations will halt operations at these international railway crossing bridges. The aim is to redirect personnel to aid the U.S. Border Patrol in managing the influx of migrants.
CBP officials emphasized their commitment to safely processing migrants amid heightened encounters at the Southwest Border. They noted a surge in migrant levels driven by smugglers disseminating misleading information to exploit vulnerable individuals. In response to this resurgence, CBP is bolstering resources and collaborating with Mexican authorities to address the concerning trend of smuggling organizations using freight trains.
This decision follows a recent incident where footage depicted thousands of migrants lining up along railroad tracks while a freight train passed, located about three hours south of Eagle Pass, Texas. Border Patrols are grappling with an overwhelming number of migrants, with a record-breaking 10,000 encounters in a single day, followed by reportedly 12,000 encounters the subsequent week, stressing resources and agents in the field.