Border Patrol suspends rail operations into 2 Texas cities

Customs and Border Patrol says the temporary closures will allow them to surge more personnel to areas where migrants are crossing into the country.
A migrant crossing the border in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Posted at 2:09 PM, Dec 18, 2023

Two international railway crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border were closed on Monday. 

The temporary closures affect the bridges in El Paso, Texas and Eagle Pass, Texas. 

Customs and Border Patrol said the closures are due to a surge in migrant encounters along the southwest border, which it blames on "smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals."

The closure of the two bridges will allow CBP to surge more personnel to areas where migrants are crossing into the country, the agency says. 

“We continue to adjust our operational plans to maximize enforcement efforts against those noncitizens who do not use lawful pathways or processes such as CBP One and those without a legal basis to remain in the United States," CBP said in a statement. 

In Real Life: Crossing the Line
Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In Real Life: Crossing the Line

Go inside the operations of a citizen patrol group at the border, which is often criticized by migrants rights groups.


The agency noted that this was just the latest operational adjustment it's made over the last few weeks to respond to the increase in migrants crossing the border. CPB previously suspended vehicle processing at Eagle Pass International Bridge 1 and closed the port of entry in Lukeville, Arizona.

For fiscal year 2023, CBP reported 269,000 land encounters at the southwest border. That's about 42,000 more than the previous fiscal year. 

Republicans and Democrats in Washington are attempting to work out a deal to address the situation at the southern border. The Associated Press reports that one proposal being discussed would allow for Homeland Security officials to stop migrants from applying for asylum at the U.S. southern border when total crossings exceed daily capacity limits of about 5,000.

The Biden administration is reportedly considering the concessions as the president attempts to get a bill through Congress that would include border security as well as funding for Israel and Ukraine.