Thanks to Governor Greg Abbott’s new directive, thousands of commercial vehicles have been slowed to a snail’s pace at Texas international ports of entry, adding disruption to a supply chain already strained by the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Abbott ordered the Department of Public Safety to begin conducting “enhanced security inspections” of vehicles at Texas ports of entry.
The order is part of the governor’s effort to bolster security at the state’s southern border as the Biden administration in Washington DC plans to end Title 42, a pandemic-era emergency order that had allowed federal authorities to refuse migrants, even those seeking asylum, as reported by The Texas Tribune.
However, Abbott’s decision is seen as an impractical political move to continue his frontier crusade. Once again, the Governor is prioritizing burning social issues, with little awareness of the repercussions this is having on the local economy.
“We value border security, but it has to be weighed very carefully with the economy of Texas,” Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said. “Any slowdown in trade on our bridges is a sure slowdown in our economy.”
On Friday afternoon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed five-hour delays entering Laredo, Pharr had delays of more than four hours, and El Paso’s two inland ports had delays. three hours.
DPS soldiers check each of the thousands of commercial vehicles that pass through select ports after being inspected by CBP at the international port of entry. But DPS soldiers can only perform mechanical inspections.
This means there is no way for them to check the shipment itself. Questioning the effectiveness of Abbott’s move to target commercial vehicles that drug cartels use to smuggle humans and drugs into Texas.
“I don’t know what the rationale is,” Rep. Henry Cuellar said. “If you’re worried about too many people coming in but you can’t inspect the cargo, that does nothing but make things uncomfortable and negatively impact trade.”
Mexico is Texas’ top trading partner, with total trade of $442 billion last year. The major impact at present is on trade and the repercussions it will have on the region’s import-export and shipping industries.
“Our state and our nation depend on a reliable and uninterrupted flow of goods to meet our nation’s needs. By implementing this action, Governor Abbott is exacerbating the supply chain crisis to continue his border crusade,” U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez said in a statement.
Dante L. Galeazzi, Texas International Produce Association, said the inspections have caused supply chain issues not just in Texas, but across the country.
“The warehouses have inactive staff, without trucks to unload. Buyers from other parts of the country cannot understand why their product is not available. Buyers from other parts of the country cannot understand why their product is not available. American trucking companies are losing money because they sit for days without loads to haul,” he said.
“It destroys our business and the reputation of Texas.”