LAREDO, Texas (Border Report) – Texas is scaling back truck inspections at its shared border crossing with the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon after both governors signed a memorandum of understanding to improve border security.
But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the enhanced inspections would continue at all other border crossings leading to his state until he gets assurances from Mexican leaders they will step up security measures.
Those inspections conducted by the Texas Department of Public safety so far have revealed safety violations – from faulty brakes to bad tires – in one in four trucks checked. Those trucks have been taken off Texas roads, he said.
“As per the agreement today […] DPS can return to its previous practice of random checks, in this bridge from Nuevo Leon to Texas, effective immediately. It will remain this way as long as Nuevo Leon abides by this agreement,” Abbott said at a news conference with Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel Garcia.
Garcia promised to increase police presence along the small stretch of border that Nuevo Leon and Texas share.
“We have begun a series of checkpoints on our border, on our river to make sure our 14 kilometers with Texas will be continuously patrolled by our police,” Garcia said.
Abbott said his office has received calls from the governors of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas and that he’s looking forward to working with them “to achieve results.”
“Until those agreements are reached with those states, DPS will continue to inspect (trucks) in every state except Nuevo Leon,” Abbott said.
On Wednesday, truck traffic remained halted in Pharr, Texas, where truckers in Reynosa on Monday formed a blockade in retaliation for the extensive inspections and that led U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to shut down the bridge.
Delays at that bridge average 20 hours and caused trailers full of food to spoil and used costly diesel fuel, business owners and trucking experts told Border Report.
Responding to widespread criticism that the truck checks have created delays up and down the Texas border that are adding to supply chain woes in North America, Abbott deflected the blame to the Biden administration.
“I understand businesses’ concern, but I also know well the frustration of my fellow Texans and fellow Americans caused by the Biden administration not securing the border,” he said. “The only way to relieve a clogged border is to call President Biden and tell him to maintain the Title 42 expulsion policy.”
Laredo Mayor Peter Saenz called the agreement a “bold move” and said he was hopeful the governor of Tamaulipas, which borders his city, would reach a similar agreement because the city shares several bridges with that northern Mexico state.
The Tamaulipas border is bigger and will require a much bigger commitment to beef up police border patrols on the Mexican side.
After Abbott’s news conference, truck traffic appeared to be moving more steadily through Columbia bridge.
Garcia said his state plans on building a new bridge connecting Nuevo Leon and Laredo and to make this a booming truck traffic corridor, adding that that’s why he acted quickly to act on this memorandum of understanding.
Border Report’s Julian Resendiz contributed to this report.