US border agents stop Union Pacific rail near Mexican border amid migrant crisis

Eagle Pass, Texas, declared state of disaster for 7 days, which started Sept 19

U.S. border authorities have temporarily halted Union Pacific train traffic to Mexico via the Eagle Pass gateway in Texas due to the growing migrant crisis, the railroad said.

The work stoppage will halt movement of thousands of tons of customer freight.

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In a statement to FOX Business on Thursday the rail operator said it is still preparing for operations to resume.

"While there is not yet an estimated time on when U.S. Customs and Border Protection will reopen the Eagle Pass gateway, we remain in close communication with multiple government agencies and our customers. Thousands of rail cars cross the border at Eagle Pass each day and once the gateway reopens, our goal is to quickly get trains launched and restore cross-border movement. Those trains already enroute (sic) are being staged, while any under embargo are being held at origin to alleviate congestion near the border."

Migrants pouring across US-Mexico border

Migrants carrying food and goods cross the banks of the Rio Grande to be processed by the Border Patrol in the El Paso sector, Texas, after crossing from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on May 8, 2023. (Herika Martinez / AFP / Getty Images)

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The pass is one of the busiest gateways between the U.S. and Mexico and was closed on increasing reports of migrants from Mexico riding on rail wagons to cross into the small Texas city.

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The rise of migrants prompted Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas to issue an emergency declaration, citing "severe undocumented immigrant surge".

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The situation is expected to continue for seven days from Sept. 19, according to the city's official account on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Migrants

Migrants walk by a string of buoys, which are intended to deter migrants from entering the U.S., are placed in the water along the Rio Grande border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, on July 15, 2023. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

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FOX Business' inquiries to BNSF Railway, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, and to Canadian Pacific Kansas City rail were not immediately returned as of Thursday evening.

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Reuters contributed to this report.