Abbott’s controversial truck inspection policy found zero drugs, weapons: report
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) order for thorough inspections of every commercial truck at the Mexico border this month yielded little results: no drugs, weapons or any type of contraband, a report from The Texas Tribune found, citing data from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Abbott ordered the increased inspections earlier this month, citing a surge of migrants on the border and a lagging response to address it from President Biden. After reaching agreements with each of Mexico’s governors to increase border patrols and security, Abbott lifted the order last Friday.
From April 8 to April 16, state troopers conducted more than 4,100 inspections, finding no illegal contraband, according to The Texas Tribune. However, 850 trucks were taken off the road for various issues with vehicle equipment, and 345 trucks were cited for oil leaks or under-inflated tires.
At a press conference last Friday, DPS director Steve McCraw said there was no expectation to find illegal shipments of drugs or weapons because the “cartels knows what they’re doing.”
“They certainly don’t like 100 percent inspections,” he said. “Once that started we saw a decreased amount of trafficking across those bridges — common sense.”
Abbott agreed, saying the cartels withheld their inventory during the period.
The governor also said about 25 percent of the vehicles inspected were found to have some safety violation. He added the “tremendous number” of safety violations caught “could have saved the lives of Texans.”
The increased inspections of commercial trucks drew backlash for halting trade at the border with Mexico, a nation among the largest trading partners with the U.S.
Abbott’s directive was also in response to Biden’s lifting of Title 42, a controversial policy allowing for the expulsion of migrants at the border during a public health crisis.
The Texas governor has increasingly slammed Biden for inaction at the border, suggesting the disruption to trade was the president’s fault and that Americans should take it up with him.
In March, more than 220,000 migrants were encountered on the border, the highest number reported since 2000.
Abbott last Friday said there would be a “reimplementation” similar to the inspection order if immigration wasn’t handled by the administration.
“A consequence of that is financial pain,” he said. “The financial pain is necessary to get the public to insist that their government leaders — such as the presidents of the two countries involved — take the action that is needed to solve this problem.”