Abbott, second Mexican governor reach agreement on border security


By Bethany Blankley

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Mexican governor of Chihuahua, María Eugenia Campos Galván, announced that they’ve reached an agreement to secure their shared borders. The announcement came one day after an agreement was reached between Abbott and the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo León, Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda.

All Mexican governors with bridges connecting to Texas contacted Abbott after he expanded border security measures through Operation Lone Star. Last week, he directed Texas Department of Public Safety officers to perform enhanced security checks of commercial trucks at ports of entry. This led to protests and major logjams, halting international commerce at at least three major ports of entry on Monday and Tuesday.

Abbott initiated Operation Lone Star last year after President Joe Biden's open border policies led to millions of immigrants attempting to cross the border illegally.

The commercial lanes on the Bridge of the Americas, which connects El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, at the El Paso Port of Entry, were closed as of April 14 when the governors announced their agreement.

Despite the criticism he’s received for the enhanced security measures, Abbott said his plan is working. Within days of implementing it, García Sepúlveda called him to say he wanted to help Texas secure the border.

Campos Galván issued a statement April 12 saying she was concerned about how the inspections were impacting her state’s economy. She said she hoped all Mexican states bordering Texas would have a dialogue with Abbott to find another solution than the logjam at the bridges.

“I am a faithful believer in dialogue and mediation; and I am sure that it is possible to promote better actions to strengthen the security of both sides of the border, without affecting the economy of Mexican and American families,” she said.

Two days later, she was in Austin.

“Texas has been overrun with a record number of immigrants illegally crossing into Texas from Mexico with the assistance of cartels,” Abbott said at a news conference with Gov. Campos Galván in Austin. “Gov. Campos and I reached an agreement that addresses both these issues. We discussed border security at length. Gov. Campos has provided me with the best border security plan that I’ve seen from any governor from Mexico.”

Campos Galván provided detailed proposals in writing, which Abbott says demonstrate her commitment to securing her state’s shared Texas-Mexico border.

“They have an organized game plan to address illegal immigration from Chihuahua into Texas,” he said.

Since she’s committed to securing the Mexico side of the border and presented such a detailed plan, he said, Texas DPS would be returning to its previous strategy of random searches of vehicles crossing the bridge from Chihuahua, resulting in transportation “returning to normal immediately.”

Abbott said he and the Texas Secretary of State’s Office have been contacted by all Mexican governors of states connected to Texas by a bridge, and after his meeting with Campos Galván, he was meeting with the governor of Coahuila. He said he may meet with the governor of Tamaulipas “as soon as tomorrow, where we will be working to achieve similar results.”

Until those agreements are reached, he said Texas DPS will continue with its enhanced vehicle inspections at every port of entry in Texas with the exception of those in Nuevo León and Chihuahua.

“I presented a very sound public policy to secure the border when I was mayor in Chihuahua City,” Campos Galván said, calling it a “new border model.” It is a similar policy she implemented when she was the mayor and was widely successful. She’s said she was “sure it would be successful” for Chihuahua and for Texas.

“Now we are implementing it in Ciudad Juárez. We are investing more than $200 million in this public policy which includes a lot of technology in order to take care of our border and the commercial trade,” she added.

Her plan includes using technology that tracks vehicles, artificial intelligence, biometric filters, and drones “to assist in the capture of cartel leaders.”

Campos Galván said her plan includes sharing intelligence and information between Chihuahua and Texas. Her technology platform will include 10,000 cameras, 2,000 video and analytical license plate recognition filters, 11 biometric filters as well as five with facial recognition, she said.

It also includes air patrol and drones. She said they’re building a database using the driver’s license registration system, and in her seven months in office they already have captured several cartel leaders.

This type of investment “has never been done before” in Chihuahua’s history, she said. She noted that her national plan would be fully implemented by August.

In response to a question on how many illegal immigrants Texas expected to transport to Washington, D.C., Abbott said, “we will transport as many as possible.”

“The president has not ever come to the border of Texas and seen the chaos that he’s caused,” he added. “And if he’s not going to come to the border, we’re going to take the border to him.

“It’s not just the president. It’s members of Congress also. It’s Congress that’s specifically authorized by the United States Constitution to take action on this. And Congress has not taken action on this either. This is sending a message to both the president and Congress that Texas is tired of being the unloading dock for illegal immigrants.

“The new unloading dock is going to be Washington, D.C.”

Another bus is currently in transit to the nation’s capital, he said.

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