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Nebraska Farm Bureau Calls for Ending of Border Rail Crossing Closures

LINCOLN, NEB. – In a letter to Homeland Security, Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) expressed grave concern over the recent decision to close international railway entry points in Texas. The organization says suspending operations at the crossings in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas will likely lead to substantial economic harm.

“The recent decision by the Biden administration to shut down two railway entries at the U.S.-Mexico border is as asinine as it is economically harmful. The crisis at our nation’s Southern border and our nation’s broken immigration and guest worker systems are all in dire need of attention. However, the repurposing of a very small handful of U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees away from these vital rail entries won’t fix these problems,” said Mark McHargue, NEFB president.

NEFB says the value of Nebraska’s agricultural trade relationship with Mexico cannot be understated as Mexico remains our largest export partner. In 2021, Nebraska farmers exported 89 percent of the state’s corn exports or $590.4 million worth of corn into Mexico. Mexico also remains Nebraska’s largest soybean customer, importing over $280.6 million worth of soybeans and soybean products.

“What this move will do is block over 60 trains or 10,000 rail cars a day from carrying grain and other consumer goods into Mexico from the United States. What this move will do is disrupt supply chains and negatively impact both the U.S. and Mexican economies. The issues that exist at our southern border didn’t appear overnight, and it absolutely will not be fixed by adding a few employees who should remain at their posts at the Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas rail crossings,” said McHargue

In the letter, NEFB pointed out the closures come at a critical time for farmers and that the rail network connecting the U.S. and Mexico is vital to the economic success of both countries.

“The timing could not be worse in that many farmers sell and deliver grain from storage during the Jan-March timeframe when prices and local basis tend to strengthen post-harvest and into the earlier part of the marketing year, said McHargue.

NEFB’s letter calls for the return of employees and reopening of the Eagle Pass and El Paso rail crossings.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 55,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.

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