Trade between Mexico remains stalled following Gov. Abbott’s new order
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Governor Greg Abbott mandated that all commercial trucks coming into Texas from Mexico be inspected by state troopers, causing delays, protests, and sparking fears of food shortages. Wednesday Abbott made a deal with Nuevo León Governor Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda that will help ease commercial traffic at the Laredo-Colombia bridge. However, trade remains stalled coming from the other three Mexican states that border Texas. Mitchell Ferman, a reporter from the Texas Tribune, joined First News at Four to discuss what the state has achieved with these border inspections.
Governor Abbott has said the goal of these new state inspections is to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S., in addition to stopping any drugs from coming in. However, according to Ferman this is a difficult task for the state because the Department of Public Safety doesn’t have the same tools and technology to detect drugs and hidden people in vehicles like the federal officers do at the ports of entry.
DPS has reported they are mostly doing safety checks of vehicles, checking tires and other mechanical issues to make sure that vehicles meet the standards in Texas.
They have not announced anything about seizing drugs or finding hidden people in these commercial vehicles, “so it’s kind of unclear what the DPS is actually doing to carry out the governor’s [goals],” said Ferman.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner and fellow Republican Sid Miller has asked Governor Abbott to cease the program citing the potential for food shortages. The Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge is the largest produce port of entry from Mexico on the entire 2,000 mile border and it was closed for half a week.
“[Miller] is aware of all the produce that comes through that bridge and that comes from Mexico, so it is of huge concern to the state’s economy,” said Ferman.
“There have been all of these bottlenecks on the Mexico side of these bridges, trucks backing up for miles and it’s hurting the local economy in the border towns, as well as other production facilities in Mexico,” Ferman said.
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