New US-Mexico Rail System Could Change Oklahoma Trade Industry

Thursday, November 21st 2019, 2:45 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

Many traded goods that end up in Oklahoma cross the Mexican border in Texas by automobile.

At the Presidio, Texas, port of entry, all of that is about to change with a new rail system being installed between the United States and Mexico.

The system is a joint project the United States helped pay $30 million for.

Alex Leos, the acting Port Director at the Presidio Port of Entry, started is border protection career in 1989. He said that was a time when rail traffic at the border began to decline.

“I think it’s a great deal for both communities, I think this has been long awaited for Presidio and Ojinaga,” Leos said.

Day-to-day security operations will be conducted by both United States and Mexican employees. A massive X-ray system will be installed to scan each car that passes by.

“It will have officers from Mexico and the U.S. doing dual inspections at the same facility,” said Leos. “What that entails, it (will) actually facilitate rail traffic back and forth with less wait times.”

That is great to many custom and border protection agents who continue to experience an overwhelming amount of traffic at all ports of entries.

“I think this is a win-win situation for both countries because I think we are on the verge of actually seeing growth to the community,” said Leos. “It will actually bring in more businesses in the future. I think everyone is going to be able to prosper off the trade.”

Make no mistake, security continues a top priority. Optimism is something always welcome.

“The only way to go now is up with this construction project that we have been working on, I think the sky is the limit,” said Leos.

Solitaire Homes builds mobile homes right across the border from Presidio. Those mobile homes are sold in Oklahoma with locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The rail system in Mexico has already been built, construction continues on the United States’ portion.

Construction is expected to be complete by the year 2020.

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