MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The costs of spiking migration for a key Mexican border state due to a sharp downturn in U.S.-bound cargo trucks total nearly $1 billion over about two weeks, state officials said Tuesday, as authorities in both countries struggle with the latest surge.
The state government of Chihuahua announced in a statement that its trade-dependent economy lost more than $947 million between Sept. 18 and Oct. 2, blaming a “migrant crisis” for preventing the usual flow of goods from crossing into the United States.
Chihuahua borders the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico, both of which host major points of entry crucial for trade between the two neighbors.
Just on Monday, the Chihuahua government said related losses totaled about $77 million.
“These impacts stem from the migrant crisis caused by the arrival of thousands of people (crossing through the state),” according to the statement, which also criticized Mexico’s federal government for not taking “any action” to mitigate the losses.
Chihuahua’s government is led by a governor who represents a center-right opposition political party.
The losses follow a decision by U.S. authorities to increase border security checks that have also caused trade delays.
Like many U.S. officials, Mexico’s top diplomat has also described surging migration as a “crisis” situation.
Earlier this month, some U.S.-bound cargo trains were also disrupted when a major Mexican freight rail operator temporarily suspended operations after migrants died or got hurt by jumping on the trains.
In a separate estimate of border disruptions, about 8,000 trailers carrying an estimated $1 billion worth of goods have been stranded on the Mexican side over the past few weeks, a transport association representative in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican border city in Chihuahua, said at the time.
(Reporting by Carolina Pulice; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Stephen Coates)