Mexican Railway Overrun by Illegal Immigrants Suspends Some Service

Ferromex says it halted 60 trains carrying enough cargo to fill 1,800 tractor-trailers; illegal immigrants on trains and in rail yards total more than 4,000.
Mexican Railway Overrun by Illegal Immigrants Suspends Some Service
Central American migrants, moving in a caravan through Juchitan, Oaxaca, in Mexico are pictured atop a train known as "The Beast" while continuing their journey toward the United States on April 26, 2019. (Jose Cortes/Reuters)
Samantha Flom

Mexican railroad operator Ferromex has suspended some service in the northern part of the country following the “regrettable” injuries and deaths of about a half-dozen illegal immigrants who tried to hop aboard its freight cars.

Ferromex halted 60 trains on northern routes that have the capacity to carry enough cargo to fill 1,800 tractor-trailers, the company said in a Sept. 19 statement.

The company, owned by Grupo México, stated that the number of illegal immigrants occupying its trains and rail yards had increased significantly in recent days, totaling more than 4,000 across several cities.

“Due to this, Ferromex will temporarily suspend its operations on the affected routes to protect the physical integrity of the migrants and will be monitoring whatever measures authorities implement,” it stated.

Ferromex is Mexico’s largest concessionary rail operator, and the halt in services could be “very important,” according to Ana Bertha Gutiérrez, international trade coordinator for the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.

Ms. Gutiérrez stressed that the industrial states such as Nuevo León, Baja California, and Chihuahua could be particularly hard hit, given their involvement in the U.S. market.

Crime and Chaos

Illegal immigrants from Central America have long used the railway system, casually dubbed “The Beast,” as a means to travel to the U.S.–Mexico border.

The suspension comes at a time when the number of border-crossers continues to overwhelm the U.S. immigration system. The issue has plagued the Biden administration for its entirety as its rollback of Trump-era immigration policies has correlated with a dramatic spike in illegal immigration.

Nearly 7 million illegal immigrants have entered the United States since President Joe Biden took office, although those numbers don't seem to have fazed his administration.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared at an Aug. 31 press briefing that President Biden “has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else,” touting recently implemented policies such as new legal pathways to entry and additional requirements for asylum-seekers.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has repeatedly asserted that the border is secure.

“Our approach to managing the border securely and humanely—even within our fundamentally broken immigration system—is working,” he testified on July 26 before the House Judiciary Committee.

Republicans, on the other hand, have sharply criticized Mr. Mayorkas’s handling of the crisis, charging that he has enabled the cross-border trafficking of drugs and children.

“The massive increase in the number of people now traveling up through Mexico on their way to the Southwest border represents a historic business opportunity for the cartels, as each person is someone off whom they can profit,” House Homeland Security Committee Republicans wrote in a recent report.

The report details some of the cartels’ tactics for evading detection (such as the use of “stash houses” to hide illegal immigrants) and argues that the administration’s policies have exacerbated the “crime and chaos.”

“Under Mayorkas and Biden’s policies, no community is safe from the expanding reach of the cartels and the drugs they are trafficking,” the report reads.

In August, it was disclosed that the administration had been auctioning off border wall materials in keeping with the president’s promise to not build “another foot” of the wall started by his predecessor.

In a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Pentagon spokeswoman Raini Brunson said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “is disposing of the excess border wall materials in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation,” which regulates all executive agencies’ acquisition of supplies and services with appropriated funds.

Jackson Richman, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.
Samantha Flom is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering U.S. politics and news. A graduate of Syracuse University, she has a background in journalism and nonprofit communications. Contact her at [email protected].