After a protest against Governor Greg Abbott's crackdown sparked protests that halted some crucial food and equipment shipments, the U.S.-Mexico will suspend some vehicle inspections at the U.S. border.
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Abbott said on Wednesday that the state government of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico agreed to conduct safety inspections before U.S.-bound trucks reach the border. The inspections will continue in other sectors of the U.S. -- Mexico line. Abbott said he acted in response to U.S. President Joe Biden's failure to combat undocumented migration and drug smuggling.
Abbott said during a joint press conference with Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Alejandro Garcia Sepulveda in Laredo that the only way to unclog the border is for Biden to do his job and secure the border.
Abbott hopes to meet with the governors of other Mexican border states as soon as Thursday. The leader of the second largest U.S. state said he is open to similar deals with those states if they make provisions for vehicle inspections.
Approximately 25% of the vehicles inspected by Texas state troopers were deemed unsafe and removed from service, potentially saving the lives of Texans, Abbott said. Safety violations included things like bad brakes, he said.
On Tuesday, inspections on the Mexican side of the border began, before Garcia Sepulveda corrected himself to sit at the first checkpoints that were erected on Monday.
Our 14 kilometer border with Texas will be continuously patrolled by our police, he added.
Abbott is walking out of one of the cornerstones of his border-security platform a week after its unveiling. The two-term Republican last week said he would increase inspections of Mexican commercial vehicles to improve highway safety and combat an expected surge in undocumented immigration.
The inspections created hours-long delays at a border that handles more than $400 billion in trade annually, prompting Mexican truckers to block a key bridge in protest. Abbott has been criticized on both sides of the border from politicians and business groups who said the move was a political stunt with potentially serious economic consequences.
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