Gov. Abbott announces return of random inspections at one border crossing
April 14, 2022
•Land Line Staff
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has partially backed off his mandated step-up in inspections of vehicles arriving from Mexico.
After meeting with Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda on April 13, Abbott agreed to restore inspection processes to allow for faster border crossings at the Colombia Solidarity International Bridge. The agreement hinged on a commitment by Nuevo Leon to step up inspections of vehicles approaching the border.
“Today is a historic day,” Abbott told media following the pair’s meeting. “Two governors are showing how to lead on border issues.”
Abbott said that border crossing bridges had become clogged because of his recently implemented policy to step up inspections at the border to stop unsafe vehicles and to stop illegal immigration into the U.S.
To free up the flow of traffic at the Laredo border crossing, Abbott and Sepúlveda signed a memorandum of understanding outlining that Nuevo Leon would share in securing the border with more inspections on traffic heading to the U.S. In exchange for that stepped-up enforcement on the Mexico side of the border, Abbott agreed to immediately return to previous inspection strategies that allow for faster movement across the border.
Abbott announced aggressive action to secure the border on April 6 in protest of the Biden administration’s decision to curtail Title 42 expulsions, a Trump administration policy that prevented most asylum seekers from applying for protection at the U.S. border with Mexico.
The stepped-up inspection program was met with swift criticism.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection calls the stepped-up inspection decree unnecessary to safeguarding the safety and security of Texas communities.
“These unnecessary inspections are occurring when vehicles exit U.S. ports of entry within the El Paso and Laredo areas of operation after being comprehensively inspected and cleared to enter the United States by (Customs and Border Patrol),” reads an April 12 statement from the federal agency. “As a result, vehicles have been significantly delayed in exiting the federal inspection plaza, leading to traffic disruptions and critical impacts to an already-strained supply chain.”
On Monday, truck drivers on the Mexican side of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge on the border began protesting Abbott’s decree, bringing commercial traffic to a standstill at the port of entry.
The state’s additional inspections have been conducted on vehicles exiting ports of entry at El Paso and Laredo, Customs and Border Patrol noted. The result has been significant delays, traffic disruptions, and critical damage to an already-strained supply chain.
“Local trade associations, officials, and businesses are requesting the Texas state government discontinue their additional border truck inspection process because it is not necessary to protect the safety and security of Texas communities and is resulting in significant impacts to local supply chains that will impact consumers and businesses nationally,” the federal agency stated.
Abbott said Texas will stick with random inspections to keep the border crossing moving smoothly as long as Neuvo Leon sticks to its end of the memorandum of understanding. He is also meeting with governors of other neighboring Mexican states to reach similar agreements.
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