Abbott strikes deals with two more Mexican governors on border security

Abbott strikes deals with two more Mexican governors on border security
(Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, Pool)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday that two more Mexican governors signed agreements to boost border security measures in exchange for a halt to increased vehicle inspections at ports of entry. The latest agreements bring the number to three Mexican states so far that have come forward and signed on to Abbott’s demands that Texas not bear the burden of illegal migration alone.

Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Alejandro Garcia Sepulveda was the first to sign an agreement with Abbott to ease the delays at its port of entry at Laredo, Texas on Wednesday. By Thursday evening, Chihuahua Gov. María Eugenia Campos Galván and Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme Solís had followed suit. Chihuahua’s major border crossing is at Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande River from El Paso. Coahuila shares international bridges with Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas.

Inspections of all commercial vehicles will continue for trucks entering Texas from Tamaulipas. Tamaulipas shares border crossings in McAllen and in Brownsville, Texas. With Abbott’s success in getting Mexican governors of border states onboard, look for Tamaulipas to make a similar move. There is a meeting scheduled today with the governor of Tamaulipas who has reached out to Abbott.

Governor Abbott is particularly pleased with the agreement with Chihuahua. To be fair, Governor Campos Galvan began enforcing security measures when she came into office in 2021. Her agreement with Abbott pledges to continue that work, which she called a “win-win situation.” Abbott, in response, called her security plan “the best border security plan that I’ve seen from any governor from Mexico.”

Last month, Campos Galván met with CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar in Washington, D.C. In the meeting, she told them her administration installed cameras with facial recognition and license plate reading technology to monitor vehicles entering Juárez, where drug cartel violence has plagued the city for years. She also said she ordered the move of the police headquarters from the state capital to Juárez.

During the news conference on Thursday in Austin, she said her administration would share intelligence with Abbott’s office over any security issues.

Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced a decision to end implementation of Title 42 at the US-Mexican border in May. Governor Abbott is using enhanced measures now to better prepare for the coming influx of illegal migrants attempting to cross the border, on top of the steady stream already happening, especially in Texas and to a lesser extent, in Arizona. He said at the time that he announced every commercial vehicle would be stopped and inspected at ports of entry that this would bring commercial traffic to a screeching halt. Delays caused by the inspections are anywhere from several hours to several days for truckers. Businesses on both sides of the border are up in arms over the losses being caused, both in production time and in idle personnel. Warehouse workers, for example, sit idle as they wait for trucks to arrive. The supply chain, already fragile due to the pandemic and Biden’s slow recovery, is feeling the strain from delayed shipments. Abbott took a chance and went with doubling down to pressure Mexican border officials to do their part for border security. These agreements are the result of that pressure.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calls the inspections “unnecessary” and redundant. Agents already conduct commercial inspections at ports of entry.

The agreement with Coahuila is similar to the agreements with Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon. Mexican police and immigration agents will continue to apprehend illegal migrants and seize illegal drugs. Riquelme Solis stressed that the cartel crime rate is low in Coahuila because of the security measures already taken there.

Some security experts claim that the security measures will not stop cartels from trafficking humans and drugs across the border. The cartels will adapt and find new ways for their drugs or migrants to cross. The Mexican governors were critical of Abbott when he announced the crackdown earlier this week and called it political theatre. The political drama is working though, and that is what matters to Texans frustrated and angry about the continued flow of illegal migrants crossing the border. Abbott is right – Texas shouldn’t be on its own and battling Biden’s border crisis without the resources needed from Washington, D.C. It’s Biden’s responsibility, not individual states, to secure the border and protect the sovereignty of the United States.

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