December 18, 2023

Ricketts on CBP Suspending Rail Operations at Southern Border

December 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) released the following statement on the news that Customs and Border Protection has shut down rail way crossings at Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas:

“At least 24 trains per day carrying merchandise and agriculture products are going to be stuck on either side of the border because President Biden won’t get the crisis under control. Consumers are who will ultimately pay the price for this suspension of rail service and delays to our rail network. The President’s own team shutting down rail traffic to process thousands of migrants illegally crossing should be enough for him to admit we have a crisis at our border.

“The only way to end this insanity is for President Biden to get serious about securing the border. Border Patrol agents made it clear to me during a recent visit that what they need is real policy change. If Biden won’t step up to change the failed policies that caused this mess, Congress must force his hand. Substantive, meaningful policy change is what I need to see in the supplemental package.”


According to the Association of American Railroads, the CBP decision most directly and immediately impacts operations for two Class I railroads – Union Pacific and BNSF – and the customers those companies serve. Twenty-four trains daily utilize these crossings to move agricultural products, automotive parts, finished vehicles, chemicals, consumer goods and more to customers spanning the continent. Ultimately, however, every railroad may be affected.

Union Pacific has already had to embargo customer goods actively being transported on more than 60 trains and processing in over 50 different rail yards. This traffic amounts to over 4,500 cars spanning 265,000 feet and weighing an excess of 420,000 tons being held north of the border.