And just like that, one governor of a Mexican state has come forward and made an agreement with Texas Governor Greg Abbott in response to Abbott’s order of enhanced vehicle inspections at the border. Abbott announced on Wednesday that the governor of Nuevo Leon agreed to increase security measures inside Mexico in exchange for an easing of enhanced vehicle inspections.
Governor Abbott and Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Alejandro Garcia Sepulveda held a joint press conference in Laredo, Texas Wednesday to sign a memorandum calling for the two states to work together.
At the news conference Wednesday, Abbott and Nuevo León Gov. Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda signed the memorandum that calls for the two states to “work cooperatively” to stem the flow of migrants into Texas, reduce cartel activity and restore border crossings to a faster pace. There are no specific policy steps laid out in the two-page agreement, which was printed in both English and Spanish.
But Garcia, 34, said the Mexican state will set up a checkpoint at the Laredo-Columbia Solidarity International Bridge that connects Laredo to Anahuac, Nuevo León. The international border will also be “continuously patrolled by our police,” he said, part of the effort that began earlier this week to make sure Texas “will not have any trouble” with the Mexican state.
“We want to make sure Texas feels comfortable making business with Nuevo León,” he said, “and that together we can have a lot more.”
“The goal all along has been to ensure that people understood the consequences of an open border and that Texas isn’t going to tolerate it anymore,” Abbott said Wednesday. “We knew that as soon as we did what we did on the border that we would be contacted by officials in Mexico. Sometimes it just takes action like that to spur people sitting down and working things out.”
Abbott’s announcement earlier this month that he would implement more drastic measures to secure the Texas border with Mexico, especially as the Biden administration decided to end Title 42 in May, have been met with mixed reviews. The measure receiving sensational headlines is the decision to begin bussing illegal migrants to Washington, D.C. to capture the attention of lawmakers and the Biden administration. Yesterday the first bus arrived and the migrants were dropped off a few blocks from Capitol Hill. A second bus has arrived as I write this on Thursday morning. More busses are in the works.
Abbott is updating via his social media accounts as events happen.
As the federal government continues to turn a blind eye to the border crisis, Texas will remain steadfast in our efforts to fill in the gaps & keep Texans safe.
We should not have to bear the burden of Biden’s failure to secure our border.
A second bus is en route. pic.twitter.com/LpttNUscFk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 14, 2022
Enhanced inspections of commercial vehicles entering ports of entry from Mexico are taking place and that is producing an unintended consequence – traffic is coming to a screeching halt for hours on end and farmers and business owners are bearing the brunt of this development. Those who cheer delays in shipments and the traffic jams along the border do not understand the relationship Texas has with Mexico as far as commerce goes. Texas shares a 1,254-mile border with Mexico. The agreement about the handling of the crossing at the checkpoint at the Laredo-Columbia Solidarity International Bridge that connects Laredo to Anahuac, Nuevo León affects less than ten miles of the border. Abbott knew that commerce and the supply chain would suffer but he made the decision in order to squeeze Mexican officials to make agreements with Texas to do their part to relieve the Biden border crisis.
Delays are being cited that range from twelve hours to three days. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported checking 4,133 commercial vehicles with enhanced inspections. About a quarter of those vehicles were taken off the road for safety issues like brakes and tires. However, DPS has not answered questions about whether or not the inspections uncovered any human trafficking or drug smuggling activity.
More meetings may begin as soon as today with leaders from all four Mexican states that border Texas. They have all contacted Abbott’s office to arrange meetings with the governor. Mexico is Texas’ largest trading partner. The free flow of commercial trucks is essential for businesses in both Texas and Mexico.
In 2021, there was more than $661 billion in trade between the U.S. and Mexico, according to U.S. Census data. The two economies are in many ways integrated into one.
John D. Esparza, president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association, noted in a statement Wednesday that his organization favors border safety, but added that Abbott’s stepped up inspections, “duplicates existing screening efforts and leads to significant congestion, delaying the products Americans rely on from our largest trading partner, Mexico.”
Esparza warned that increased delays in border crossings could lead to postponed or canceled deliveries, and “perishable goods spoil, and grocery and retail store shelves begin to empty.”
Before the announcement was made on Wednesday of Abbott’s agreement with the governor of Nuevo León, the governors of Coahuila and Tamaulipas, which also share a border with Texas, issued a joint statement to Abbott. Tuesday night they warned the new inspection measures “are creating havoc and economic pain on both sides of the border.” True enough but the likelihood that the two governors may not agree to work more closely with Abbott greatly diminished as he and the governor of Nuevo Leon signed their agreement on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, political points have never been a good recipe to address common challenges or threats,” said Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco Javier Cabeza de Vaca and Coahuila Governor Miguel Angel Riguelme Solis. We’ll see how they handle their meeting with Abbott.
In the meantime, Abbott will continue to do whatever he can to work on making the southern border more secure. What choice does he have? The Biden administration refuses to do their job and Joe Biden simply doesn’t care about the humanitarian crisis on the border. If it takes political theatre like traffic delays and busses of illegal migrants arriving in D.C., so be it. Perhaps people living outside of a border state will be more aware of what is happening when they see $2 lemons and $5 avocados in their grocery stores, thanks to Bidenflation and supply chain delays due to his neglect of the southern border. “Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure our border,” Abbott said.
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas says that up to 80% of perishable fruits and vegetables have been unable to cross since Friday due to Texas inspections and a Mexican trucker protest against the inspections. Idled trucks are costing businesses millions of dollars a day and risk food spoilage. Supermarkets are scrambling to restock shelves.
More than $400 billion in goods cross the border via Texas-Mexico ports of entry a year. U.S. retailers and manufacturers depend on Mexican factories for just-in-time deliveries. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the border disruptions have already cost factories in northern Mexico $100 million, much of which will be borne by U.S. consumers.
Abbott’s not doing this to deny you fresh fruits and vegetables, or factories the parts the need for production. He is making dramatic gestures to make a point. There is a new wave of migrants predicted to hit the southern border as Title 42 ends and everyone has to be on the same page in order for border states to handle what is coming. Biden has no plan in place. Texas has to reach out to Mexican officials for additional cooperation.
Until Biden enforces immigration laws, Texas will continue to use its own strategies to secure the border.
This historic agreement between Texas & Nuevo León is a major step in the Lone Star State's efforts to secure the border in the federal government's absence. pic.twitter.com/2ycOWgRpRp
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 13, 2022