EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A line of trucks that’s over a mile long has been forming daily off of Artcraft Road as the Texas Department of Public Safety conducts enhanced security inspections.
DPS announced the action in a Dec. 13 statement:
“Cartels do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they do about the human lives they cram into tractor-trailers or those lost to a fentanyl overdose. For security reasons the department does not discuss operational specifics, but we hope that frequent enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections will help deter cartel smuggling activity along our southern border while increasing the safety of our roadways.”
However, these checks are not only creating a traffic disruption for residents but also affecting local commerce.
The director of the Border Industrial Association, Jerry Pacheco, said he believes these checks are unnecessary at the particular location off Artcraft and Doniphan roads.
“You usually do these secondary inspections in the most non-intrusive way possible. You don’t do it on a major four-lane thoroughfare between West Texas and the Santa Teresa industrial base,” he said.
Pacheco says this was a political stunt at the border coming from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
One driver going towards California said he had been waiting in line for five hours without knowing why the trucks were stopped.
The line of trucks started moving again on around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, once DPS troopers concluded the checks for the day.
Pacheco explained that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have already checked many of these trucks at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, adding that New Mexico State troopers also conduct checks.
“You’ve got cross-border trade going on by the billions every day by our border. We count on minutes to get from point A to point B to keep on a production schedule. By doing these things without any thought for commerce Gov. Abbott is hurting his own businesses as well as Santa Teresa,” Pacheco said.
He also said besides the local commerce as drivers being impacted, consumers are the last ones paying the price.
“Those extra insufficiencies in the supply chain will be made up by you and I, the consumer, because we will be paying more for the products,” said Pacheco. “It also affects our employees going to work or leaving work trying to pick up their kids from kindergarten or from school.”
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