AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state will ease inspections of commercial trucks at a fourth location on the border, effectively ending this policy since it now applies to every Mexican state bordering Texas.
Abbott announced Friday afternoon the latest agreement is with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. He said Gov. Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca agreed to “enhanced border security enforcement measures” on the Mexico side to help curb illegal crossings into Texas.
This is a slight reversal of his immigration order that resulted in clogged truck traffic at the U.S.-Mexico border, which came after a week of intensifying backlash and fears of deepening economic losses.
Enhanced security checks at the border have caused delays of up to 12 hours in bringing merchandise across the Mexico-Texas border. During enhanced checks, 100% of the trucks coming across the border are checked, as opposed to the usual process of random checks.
Col. Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at the Friday news conference troopers uncovered no instances of drug or human trafficking despite the enhanced effort to check every commercial truck crossing into Texas.
“In fact it was an expectation recognizing the cartels know what they’re doing,” McCraw said. “They don’t like troopers stopping them certainly north of the border, and they certainly don’t like inspections of commercial vehicles on the bridges. Once that started, we’ve seen a decreased amount of trafficking across the bridges — common sense.”
Instead, Abbott said DPS found about 25% of the inspected vehicles had defects requiring their removal from roads, like issues with their brakes or tires.
“We have over 230 miles of border with 18 border crossings. We’re talking about 50% of the commerce that goes between Mexico and United States goes through Tamaulipas and Texas,” Cabeza de Vaca said Friday. “International trade must get back on track. That’s why I’m very much looking forward to working with you in fighting organized crime on shared borders.”
Abbott previously met with Chihuahua Gov. Maru Campos on Thursday to strike a deal over border security, similar to the one signed Wednesday between Abbott and the governor of Nuevo Leon. Abbott also made an agreement with Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís shortly after.
Chihuahua shares a major border crossing at Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. Coahuila shares a border with Del Rio and Eagle Pass.
Border Report said Abbott ordered the checks in response to an increase in unauthorized migration at the border. During inspections, DPS is looking for drugs, migrants hidden in trucks and vehicle safety inspections.
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate running for Texas governor, held a news conference Friday in El Paso blasting the impacts of Abbott’s border actions, saying they’re driving up inflation in Texas and the U.S.
“Two-thirds of all the produce that we consume in the state of Texas is imported through our ports of entry,” O’Rourke said. “Greg Abbott has hurt the people of Texas. He especially hurt the people of the border, and Greg Abbott is causing higher inflation in the state of Texas.”