White House ‘working closely’ with Mexico to resolve border rail closures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The White House said on Wednesday it was working with Mexico’s government to resolve issues that led the Biden administration on Monday to close two rail crossings at the Texas-Mexico border used by increasing numbers of migrants to enter the U.S.

Dozens of major U.S. agricultural groups on Wednesday urged the U.S. to reopen the crossings, saying the closures of the railroad trade routes were causing steep export losses to U.S. growers.

The farm groups said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency could reopen the rail bridges with as few as five employees per crossing, challenging the agency’s rationale for shutting down the train routes.

A White House spokesperson said later on Wednesday that the U.S. was “working closely with the Mexican government in an attempt to resolve this issue, while surging personnel to the region.”

“We are communicating regularly with industry leaders to ensure we are assessing and mitigating the impacts of these temporary closures,” the spokesperson said.

The White House also repeated that U.S. Homeland Security Department officials shut down the two crossings to “stop a large movement of migrants coming by rail and to protect the health and safety of its personnel.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler by Edmund Klamann)