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Union Pacific warns border crossing closing due to migrant crisis hurts cross-border trade as Christmas nears

Union Pacific is calling for the re-opening of two key border crossings in Texas that have been shut due to the ongoing migrant crisis, warning that the continued closures will severely impact cross-border trade just as Christmas and New Years are just days away.

The railroad company is demanding that the crossings in El Paso and Eagle Pass, where Border Patrol agents have been overwhelmed by a surge in migrants coming into the U.S., be “re-opened immediately.”

“These locations represent 45% of cross-border Union Pacific business and include goods critical to the U.S. economy,” the company said in a statement. “There isn’t enough capacity at our other four gateways to reroute them.” 

SOUTHERN BORDER HIT BY RECORD NUMBER OF MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS IN A SINGLE DAY AS THOUSANDS FLOOD INTO TEXAS

“With Christmas and the New Year’s holidays just days away, Union Pacific is in close communication with multiple government agencies and our customers, urging that the crossings closed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection be reopened,” the statement said.

CBP has taken a number of actions to handle migrant traffic, including diverting agents away from other stations to help with the processing of migrants in places like Eagle Pass — where agents were processing more than 4,500 on Tuesday morning after a massive surge, and already 5,300 in custody.

Across the border, Monday saw a record number of daily encounters, with over 12,600 overall, including 11,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions, sources told Fox News. It’s the latest in a number of records set during the nearly three-year migrant crisis.

Union Pacific said it “[understands] this is a complex humanitarian crisis” but said that “most migrants are not crossing the border on trains.” It also highlighted its own security measures that it uses, including technology including X-ray to detect people and contraband.

“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. “Union Pacific is doing everything possible to stage trains and work with customers to prevent congestion at the border. The longer this closure is in effect, the more difficult it will be for cross-border trade to resume.”

It stressed the impacted goods included agricultural products including grain, food and beverages, automotive parts and consumer goods.

5,000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS RELEASED EVERY DAY INTO US, ADMIN OFFICIALS PRIVATELY TELL LAWMAKERS

Meanwhile, talks are ongoing in Washington about policy changes to asylum limits in order to secure agreement on a supplemental funding request from the White House — including $14 billion for border funding.

Lawmakers say there has been progress, but there is unlikely to be a deal before the New Year. 

Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.

   

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