After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered additional inspections on trucks entering Texas from Mexico, producers are reporting delays in shipments citing the enhanced inspections.
The enhanced inspections have President Joe Biden’s administration and Abbott pointing the finger at each other.
Dante Galeazzi, president of the Texas International Produce Association, said border security is important, but something needs to be done to improve the flow of trucks crossing the border.
“Warehouses have staff sitting idle, with no trucks to unload,” Galeazzi said. “Buyers in other parts of the country cannot understand why their product is not available. US trucking companies are losing money as they sit around for days with no loads to haul. I have even heard from a member that a trucking company is refusing to send trucks south of San Antonio out of concern there will be no cargo available. This is destroying our business and the reputation of Texas. I foresee companies making plans to move their business to New Mexico and Arizona.”
Abbott tweeted earlier this week that the law is necessary due to federal policies. The enhanced border inspections are among a few initiatives Abbott announced last week, which also include transporting undocumented immigrants to Washington D.C. by charter bus.
"Well we're going to be seeing - based upon the prognostications of the Biden administration itself, is going to be cataclysmic in what happens in border-related regions,” Abbott said this week.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the enhanced inspections “redundant” and causing “significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.”
“Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding 5 hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60 percent,” Psaki said. “The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed.”
Abbott’s policy announcements come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier this month it is eliminating Title 42, which was implemented during President Donald Trump’s administration to expel migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. Title 42 was implemented in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the effects of the pandemic are easing, some on both sides of the aisle are urging the Biden administration to continue to provision. The American Civil Liberty Union counters by saying “U.S. law guarantees the right to seek asylum, and prohibits sending people to places they will be persecuted or tortured.”