Texas-Mexico border: Governor Greg Abbott lifts inspections on 2 international bridges after controversial policy sparks backlog

EL PASO, Texas (KTRK) – Texas has reached an agreement with another Mexican state to reduce the border backlog caused by strict and mandatory inspections of commercial vehicles heading to the United States

On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott announced the suspension of inspections for commercial trucks from Chihuahua. Many truckers have grown frustrated after waiting at least a full day to have their trucks inspected at the crossing.

A similar announcement came on Wednesday after Abbott and the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel García, reached a similar agreement. Abbott said he and García agree that the Nuevo Leon government should strengthen border security measures on their side of the bridge. García hopes other governors of Mexican states will do the same.

The mandatory increase in DPS inspections of all commercial vehicles has been ordered by Governor Abbott. These will once again become random checks performed by DPS on the bridge that connects Nuevo Leon to the United States.

Abbott said he hopes to strike similar deals with other Mexican leaders in states and cities that have bridges connecting them directly to the United States.

Bridges in two other Mexican states are still subject to the strict DPS inspections that have caused delays. Abbott says he hopes to meet with those leaders in the coming days.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection called the extra layer of inspections unnecessary. Almost a week since the direction was ordered, we are now seeing long delays at the border for commercial trucks. CBP has confirmed that some wait times at border crossings exceed five hours and this results in a 60% drop in commercial traffic.

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

Local trade associations, officials and businesses are calling on the Texas government to end the additional border truck inspection process, according to CBP. He said additional inspections are not necessary to protect the safety and security of communities in our state. In fact, CBP said it causes a bigger headache because of the significant impacts on local supply chains and will ultimately impact consumers and businesses nationwide.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks passing through ports of entry were significantly disrupting food and automotive supply chains. According to PSAKI, this is delaying manufacturing, affecting jobs and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.

“Governor Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs and the livelihoods of hard-working American families,” Psaki said. “Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision as trucks are facing long delays exceeding five hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped 60 percent.”

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

“This is all designed to emphasize the border and get Texans thinking about President Biden’s immigration policy, which is generally viewed negatively by a majority of Texans,” Jones said. “However, it has adverse consequences for the potential increase in the costs of what Texans pay for tomatoes, strawberries and avocados, as well as the prices of manufactured goods if this continues beyond a few weeks.”
Jones said the slowdown in workers will lead to shortages of goods at a time when people across the country are already struggling due to record inflation of 8%.

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“Anything happening at the border is only going to have a more negative effect on inflation, causing prices to be higher, not lower, and hitting Texans in their wallets,” Jones said.

He also said the president tends to get blamed for inflation, but this time it would be a case of the governor driving up prices 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 has contacted Abbott about this to find out if there are other plans to ensure border security without affecting trade, but we have not yet received a response.

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