AP NEWS

Mexico expresses concern about US border slowdowns

April 3, 2019

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government said Tuesday there are significant slowdowns at U.S. border crossings, particularly at three of the eight between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas.

The slowdowns have been caused by a U.S. decision to re-assign some 2,000 border officers who normally check vehicles at border crossings to deal with growing crowds of migrants. But the slowdowns caused huge backups of trucks and cars, threatening to strangle the movement of goods and people.

“If we don’t get this back to normal very soon, it is going to have an economic cost for both countries,” warned Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

The city government of Ciudad Juarez said so many trucks were backed up at border freight crossing there that they began to crowd some of the city’s main boulevards, “causing losses for shopkeepers and creating traffic problems.”

City police organized long single-file lines of trucks on some less-used freeways along the city’s edges. The border slowdown also created long lines of cars.

Ebrard said the United States “does really have a problem” with a spike in the number of migrants, but that it wasn’t because Mexico wasn’t doing its job. Ebrard said that some new mechanisms, possibly bus services, were being used to shuttle migrants to the U.S. border.

“We think the flow is being organized in some other way,” Ebrard said. “It’s no longer necessarily caravans, it is no longer necessarily what we had been seeing, no longer the train, it may be that they are arriving in passenger buses.”

But Ebrard expressed confidence that “no closure is foreseen” at the border.