Apr 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Texas to halt additional truck inspections after deal with Mexican states

Photo of Greg Abbott speaking into a mic as supporters stand around him

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Friday that he will rescind his order to inspect all trucks at the southern border after reaching an agreement with all four neighboring Mexican states.

Why it matters: The additional inspections, which Abbott implemented in response to what he called the Biden administration's inability to stem illegal immigration, caused fierce backlash and led to extremely long wait times and the shutdown of at least one border crossing.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection already oversees inspections; Abbott’s order only doubled the effort.

Driving the news: The agreement calls on the four states that share a border with Texas — Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Chihuahua and Coahuila — to bolster security efforts that target illegal immigration and smuggling.

What he's saying: "There is the expectation that the Mexican states that I have negotiated deals with will do what is necessary to reduce illegal immigration," Abbott said at a press conference Friday.

  • "And there's the consequence, that if not, the 100% inspections will be reinstated."
  • "We are going to do what is necessary to have safe and secure borders where both countries are following the law," he added.

The big picture: Mexico is the U.S.' biggest source of agricultural imports, and the U.S. relies on an intricate, but relatively speedy inspection system at the southern border to get goods through, Axios' Astrid Galván notes.

  • Texas Trucking Association president and CEO John D. Esparza slammed Abbott's order on Wednesday, saying the additional screening efforts "yield little impact on the state's highest motor carrier safety risks, while adding significant congestion to the border commerce."
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that commercial traffic had dropped by as much as 60% since the governor announced his mandate last week.
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