Texas-Mexico border: Gov. Greg Abbott lifts inspections at 2 international bridges after controversial policy sparks backlog

EL PASO, Texas (KTRK) – Texas has struck a deal with another Mexican state to ease the backlog at the border that was caused by strict and mandatory inspections of commercial vehicles heading into the US

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the suspension of inspections for commercial trucks coming from Chihuahua. Many truck drivers grew frustrated after waiting at least a full day to get their trucks inspected at the crossing.

A similar announcement was made Wednesday after Abbott and the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel García, came to a similar agreement. Abbott said he and García agreed to have Nuevo Leon’s government increase border security measures on their side of the bridge. García hopes other governors in Mexican states will do the same.

The mandatory increased DPS inspections of all commercial vehicles were ordered by Governor Abbott. Those will now go back to being random checks performed by DPS at the bridge that connects Nuevo Leon to the US

Abbott said he hopes to make similar agreements with other Mexican leaders in states and cities that have bridges directly connecting them to the US

Bridges from two more Mexican states are still under the strict DPS inspections that have been causing delays. Abbott says he is hoping to meet with those leaders in the coming days.

In a statement, the US Customs and Border Protection Department called the extra layer of inspections unnecessary. Nearly a week since the direction was ordered, we’re now seeing lengthy delays at the border for commercial trucks. CBP confirmed some wait times at border crossings are exceeding five hours, and it’s causing a 60% drop in commercial traffic.

“The longer than average wait times, and the subsequent supply chain disruptions, are unrelated to CBP screening activities and are due to additional and unnecessary inspections being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety at the order of the Governor of Texas,” CBP said in a statement.

Local trade associations, officials, and businesses are calling on the Texas government to discontinue the additional border truck inspection process, according to CBP. It said extra inspections aren’t necessary to protect the safety and security of the communities across our state. In fact, CBP said this is causing a bigger headache because of significant impacts to local supply chains and will ultimately impact consumers and businesses nationally.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains. According to Psaki, it’s delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.

“Gov. Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families,” said Psaki. “Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Gov. Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding five hours at some border crossings, and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60%.”

Mark Jones, a political science expert in Houston, called Abbott’s move political theater.

“This is all designed to put a focus and spotlight on the border and to get Texans to think about President Biden’s immigration policy, which is generally viewed in a negative manner by a majority of Texans,” said Jones. “However, it’s having the adverse consequences on potentially raising the costs of what Texans pay for tomatoes, strawberries, and avocados, as well as prices of manufactured goods if it continues beyond a few weeks.”
Jones said the slow down for workers will mean shortages of goods at a time people across the nation are already struggling because of the record inflation at 8%.

SEE RELATED STORY: Sticker shock: Inflation in United States jumped 8.5% in past year, highest since 1981

“Everything that’s happening at the border is only going to have a more adverse effect on inflation, causing higher prices not lower, and hitting Texans in their pocketbooks,” said Jones.

He also said the president tends to get blamed for inflation, but this time it would be a case where the governor is causing prices to rise in Texas through political stunts at the border. Jones believes the security measures announced last week by Abbott have nothing to do with politics and instead, have everything to do with politics.

ABC3 reached out to Abbott on the matter to find out if there are other plans to address border security without impacting commercial trade, but we have yet to hear back.

For updates on this story, follow Daniela Hurtado on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.