Texas border bridge cargo operations suspended to assist with migrant influx

Commercial operations at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso, Texas, have been temporarily suspended as a U.S. border agency reshuffles personnel in an effort to process migrants that have been arriving in the region.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said cargo operations at the Bridge of Americas were halted Friday morning and “the closure will continue until further notice.”

“On Thursday morning, CBP informed the local trade community of the temporary suspension of commercial operations at the Bridge of the Americas cargo lot,” CBP spokesman Roger Maier told FreightWaves. “The closure will allow for personnel assigned to the Port of El Paso’s import facility and other locations to assist with the processing of the influx of migrants currently occurring between the ports of entry in the El Paso area.”

The Bridge of the Americas is one of two commercial U.S.-Mexico border crossings in El Paso, along with the nearby Ysleta-Zaragoza International Bridge.

More than 650,000 cargo trucks crossed the border using the Ysleta-Zaragoza International Bridge in 2022, while 161,439 trucks used the Bridge of the Americas.

Maier said the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility processes about 700 northbound commercial trucks daily, but has recently seen that number decline to 200 trucks daily after the Texas Department of Public Safety began enhanced safety inspections in December.

“CBP’s office of field operations will remain in communication with stakeholders and provide updates related to additional contingency plans as they become available,” Maier said. 

More than 2.8 million migrants were encountered or apprehended by border agents at the Southwest border in fiscal 2022, including nearly 308,000 people in the El Paso sector, according to the CBP.

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