Abbott halts some truck inspections at border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday announced he was halting thorough truck inspections at the border shared with the Mexican state of Nuevo León, easing a new policy he issued last week to stem the flow of migrants crossing into his state.

During a Wednesday press conference with Nuevo León Gov. Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda, Abbott said he reached an agreement with the Mexican governor, who will enhance security on his side of the border, while Texas will lift the increased truck inspections, returning operations at the crossing to normal.

“We want to make sure Texas feels comfortable making business with Nuevo León,” the Mexican governor said at the news conference.

Abbott said Texas state troopers will continue to thoroughly inspect vehicles at the borders of other Mexican states until those leaders make similar commitments. The governor said he knew the increased inspections would spur calls from Mexican leaders.

“I understand the concerns businesses have trying to move products across the border. But I also know well the frustration of my fellow Texans and my fellow Americans caused by the Biden administration not securing the border,” Abbott said during the press conference.

“The ultimate way to end the clogged border is for President Biden to do his job and secure the border,” Abbott continued. “If you want relief from the clogged border, you need to call President Biden.”

The directive followed Biden’s lifting of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allowed for the expulsions of migrants at the border for health-related reasons during the pandemic.

Abbott also sent a busload of migrants to Washington, D.C., in protest of the policy change.

In a Wednesday statement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki slammed Abbott’s moves as “unnecessary and redundant.”

“Governor Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families,” Psaki said.

Abbott’s inspections directive to the Texas Department of Public Safety caused hours-long delays along the border beginning this week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the backups caused delays of up to five hours as well as a 60 percent drop in commercial traffic passing through a border crossing crucial for the shipment of fruits, vegetables and meat products.

In 2021, the Laredo, Texas, port of entry saw 3.9 million commercial trucks, which had an import value of $212 billion that year.

Texas Trucking Association President John Esparza issued a statement Wednesday calling for Abbott and Biden to reach an agreement and resolve the crisis.

“This new initiative duplicates existing screening efforts and leads to significant congestion, delaying the products Americans rely on from our largest trading partner, Mexico,” Esparza said.

“The current situation on the border simply cannot be sustained and we urge President Joe Biden and Governor Greg Abbott to come together before our economy endures further irreparable damage,” he added.

Abbott, however, blamed Biden for not visiting the border since he assumed office and continued to slam the president for “inaction” on immigration.

“The true fix for the clogged borders begins with the White House,” Abbott said. “Until then, Texas will use its own strategies to secure the border.”

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