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Senator Marshall Blasts President Biden and the DHS For Shutting Down Major Railways, Putting Millions in International Commerce at a Standstill

Wichita, KS – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. blasts President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, for the administration’s decision to close two major rail crossings at the U.S. southern border. This ill-advised decision stops nearly 45 percent of the rail cars passing between the U.S. and Mexico and leaves more than $200 million of daily commerce stranded on the track.

Without any prior notice, the El Paso and Eagle Pass railroad crossings were abruptly closed by DHS’s Customs and Border Protection on Monday.The move stifles international commerce and has left millions worth of goods, including agriculture commodities grown in Kansas, stuck in limbo, hurting producers’ bottom lines right before the holidays. The Biden Administration has not indicated when they will reopen freight operations at these locations.

The Biden Administration’s approach to addressing the national security threats at our southern border has been ill-advised since he stepped foot in the Oval Office,” Senator Marshall said. Mexico remains one of the U.S.’s top trading partners and the destination for agricultural goods raised and produced in Kansas. Biden’s announcement to close two additional U.S.-Mexico rail crossings will have substantial and noticeable impacts on our state’s family farms and ranches. Targeting rail traffic that allows farmers to move goods and grain while looking the other way as millions of illegal immigrants flood into the interior of our country is a clear display of poor judgment.” 

Trade disruptions will allow Mexico an opportunity to source commodities from other countries, undercutting years of productive trade relations between the two countries.

Background:

  • Since Monday, railroads have had to hold over 100 train sets, equivalent to more than 100,000 rail cars and 10,000,000 tons of commodities and goods.
  • Mexico is one of the U.S. and Kansas’ top export markets. U.S. goods and services trade with Mexico totaled an estimated $855.1 billion in 2022. Eagle Pass and El Paso accounted for a total of $33.95 billion in rail traffic to and from Mexico in the last year.
  • Mexico is the top export destination for Kansas wheat. Nearly 70 percent of wheat exported is moved by rail to Mexican flour mills.
  • Top exports to Mexico include: oil and natural gas products, motor vehicle products and petroleum and coal products.
  • In 2021, the U.S. exported more than $2.6 billion of soybeans and more than $4.7 billion of corn to Mexico.
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