Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has repealed his traffic-clogging immigration order that backed up commercial trucks at the U.S.-Mexico border this week.
The Republican on Friday ended a new policy that required all commercial trucks from Mexico to undergo extra inspections to stop the flow of migrants and drugs. The inspections led to delays, prompting wide backlash and fears of deep economic losses. Some truckers reported having to wait more than 30 hours to cross, and others blocked one of the world’s busiest trade bridges in protest.
Abbott lifted the inspections after signing new border security agreements with neighboring Mexican states.
Producers reported delays in shipments citing the enhanced inspections.
The enhanced inspections have President Joe Biden’s administration and Abbott pointing the finger at each other.
Dante Galeazzi, president of the Texas International Produce Association, was among those applying pressure to Abbott to rescind the order.
“Warehouses have staff sitting idle, with no trucks to unload,” Galeazzi said. “Buyers in other parts of the country cannot understand why their product is not available. US trucking companies are losing money as they sit around for days with no loads to haul. I have even heard from a member that a trucking company is refusing to send trucks south of San Antonio out of concern there will be no cargo available. This is destroying our business and the reputation of Texas. I foresee companies making plans to move their business to New Mexico and Arizona.”
Abbott tweeted earlier this week that the law is necessary due to federal policies. The enhanced border inspections were among a few initiatives Abbott announced last week, which also include transporting undocumented immigrants to Washington D.C. by charter bus.
"Well we're going to be seeing - based upon the prognostications of the Biden administration itself, is going to be cataclysmic in what happens in border-related regions,” Abbott said this week.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the enhanced inspections “redundant” and causing “significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.”
“Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding 5 hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60 percent,” Psaki said. “The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed.”