Amid disturbing claims that U.S. Border Patrol agents are preparing to process up to 18,000 illegal immigrants per day along the southwest border once the federal Title 42 covid-health border regulation ends on May 23, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has instituted commercial vehicle inspections by Department of Public Safety (DPS, or state police) officers in search of contraband such as deadly drugs along with the smuggling of human beings. Of the 28 land-based ports connecting Mexico and Texas, seven have reportedly seen such extensive vehicle searches: Brownsville, Los Indios, Pharr, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and El Paso.
“Significant slowdowns were recorded at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, with the wait time increasing up to four hours, according to real-time data captured on the Customs and Border Protection website. Laredo and Brownsville bridges experienced the same,” the trustworthy Epoch Times newspaper noted. “The DPS inspections are occurring on state roads just beyond the ports of entry, which backs up the line into Mexico.”
For several years, this writer has occasionally reported on the often-substandard and sometimes dangerous condition of Mexican-domiciled semi trucks entering the U.S. By day’s end on April 9 under Gov. Abbott’s inspection program, which began around April 6, DPS had inspected 2,390 commercial vehicles, of which 552 were placed out of service “for serious safety violations to include defective brakes, defective tires and defective lighting,” according to Lt. Christopher Olivarez, DPS spokesman. “Also 73 commercial vehicle drivers were placed out of service. The total number of violations detected thus far is 8,244.”
In an April 6 letter to DPS Director Col. Steven McCraw, Gov. Abbott noted: “[T]he cartels that smuggle illicit contraband and people across our southern border do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they care who overdoses from the deadly fentanyl on board. In response to this threat, which is projected to grow in the coming months, I hereby direct the . . . DPS to conduct enhanced safety inspections of vehicles as they cross international ports of entry into Texas.”
Several entry ports between Texas and Mexico have endured significant slowdowns as Abbott’s security plan was implemented. At press time DPS hadn’t yet said how long it intends to keep the inspections going. Mexico is Texas’s top trading partner with $88.5 billion worth of goods flowing both ways across the Texas–Mexico border annually.
Todd Bensman, national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, told the The Epoch Times there are three possible outcomes:
1) Abbott will relent and stop the inspections;
2) the Biden administration will sue Texas to try and halt the inspections; or
3) Mexico may impose security at its own borders, much like it did in 2019 when Trump threatened to impose tariffs on goods from Mexico unless it assisted in stemming the flow of illegals. Bensman added: “One way or another, if Texas keeps this going . . . the presidents of both countries will have no choice but to get involved.”
“The Biden Administration’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous cartels and deadly drugs to pour into the United States, and this crisis will only be made worse by ending Title 42 expulsions,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement.
With DPS reportedly checking every commercial vehicle at select international bridges, it takes considerable time to move delivery trucks into the U.S. Consequently, “Mexican truckers have blocked traffic at key border crossings in protest, making the wait time even longer,” the pro-open borders Texas Tribune noted. A private border security officer told this writer in confidence, however, that some Mexican truckers are striking and stopping deliveries altogether, causing a drop in fresh produce deliveries to U.S. grocers. Worse, this officer sees Abbott’s border inspections as part good but part diversion.
“It’s so he doesn’t have to declare an invasion. Abbott is just trying to adjust the optics,” the officer said. An invasion declaration would mean having to heavily defend and close the rural, hot-spot parts of the border and back off a bit on the entry-port inspection—something the private security officer feels Abbott simply will never do.
In rural ranch areas along the border, the officer said, illegals are jabbing knives into expensive water systems, and killing livestock to eat, costing border ranchers who need private security firms to monitor their property umpteen thousands of dollars. “There’s some real patriots there, among these ranchers whose families have been ranchers for generations,” the officer also told WIN.