Trade halted at border over protests against Texas governor’s inspections
Traffic at a crossing point on the Texas-Mexico border has come to a standstill due to protests by Mexican truckers over Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) new rule that allows state troopers to inspect commercial vehicles crossing into the U.S.
Both sides of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, the most trafficked trade crossing in the Rio Grande Valley, were blocked by the truckers Tuesday for the sixth day in a row, according to multiple news sources.
The U.S. side of the bridge is closed without reopening in sight, The Wall Street Journal reported, as 500 truckers block border entrances from the U.S. to Mexico.
Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety Wednesday to tighten inspections of trucks crossing the border in an effort to reduce illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
The state inspections are in addition to federal inspections and have not regularly been ordered.
Abbott’s order came shortly after the Biden administration said it would end Title 42 restrictions on immigration.
DPS officials are checking nearly every commercial truck, according to reporting from the Texas Tribune, and each inspection takes close to an hour.
“We are supporters of Governor Abbott, but unfortunately we weren’t taken into consideration,” Texas Trucking Association Charmain Ernesto Gaytan told Reuters.
The Pharr-Reynosa bridge is vital to the transport of produce such as avocados, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes.
“Those refrigerated units are powered by diesel,” sales manager Modesto Guerra from Sterling Fresh Inc., a broccoli importation company, told the Tribune. “These trucks are in line and when the diesel runs out they have no way of refueling.”
Guerra said that customers had already canceled their shipments due to the holdups beyond his control.
Traffic on nearby bridges has also stalled due to protests in Eagle Pass, El Paso and Laredo, Texas as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
The traffic is effecting the transport of various types of electronic, vehicle and medical equipment.