Texas governor retreats on immigration order to ease border crossing gridlock
On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott repealed his traffic-clogging immigration order, which backed up commercial trucks at the Mexico-US border after a week of backlash and fears of surging economic losses.
The Republican governor took his new rules back that had required all commercial trucks from Mexico to witness extra inspections to cut the flow of migrants and drugs. Abbot had ratcheted up a fight with the Biden administration due to the immigration policy.
Some truckers said to have been waiting more than 30 hours to cross. Others clogged one of the world’s busiest trade routes in protest.
Abbott is up for reelection in November. He has made the border his top issue and fully lifted the inspections after inking agreements with neighbouring Mexican states that he says define new commitments to border security. The latest one was signed Friday with the Tamaulipas governor, who said the inspections created havoc and were overzealous.
It is pertinent to state that when the governor first ordered the inspections, he did not mention that lifting them was conditional on such agreements with Mexico.
The pressure was building on Abbott to retreat as the deadlock on the border worsened, and frustration mounted. Meanwhile, the American Trucking Association called the inspections “redundant, wholly flawed and adding more weight on a strained supply chain.”
The Mexico-US border is crucial to the US economy. Last year, the US imported $390.7 billion worth of goods from Mexico.
Abbott initiated the inspections after the Washington administration said pandemic-related restrictions on asylum at the border would be lifted on May 23. He said the inspections had a “zero tolerance policy for dangerous vehicles” smuggling migrants. Abbott said Texas would resort to several steps in response to ending asylum restrictions, which is said to lead to a surge in migrants coming to the border.