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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to continue the truck inspections that have snarled traffic at the Texas-Mexico border until there is action from both President Biden and Mexican officials to stem the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border.
Abbott spoke Wednesday as he signed a memorandum of understanding with the governor of Nuevo Leon that would see inspections stopped at the bridge in Laredo in return for what he called “enhanced border security enforcement measures” at the ports of entry and along the Rio Grande from Nuevo Leon.
ABBOTT SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH NEIGHBORING MEXICAN STATE TO SCALE BACK BORDER INSPECTIONS OF TRUCKS
“The effect of this will be that the bridge from Nuevo León and Texas will return to normal effective immediately right now, it will remain that way as long as Nuevo Leon executes this historic agreement,” he said.
The Republican governor had ordered that trucks coming over from Mexico undergo increased inspections, and come as part of a slew of measures to combat the migrant crisis — including bussing migrants to Washington D.C. Border governors have warned about the dangers of the massive flow of migrants — as well as drugs such as fentanyl — into the United States.
The inspections have gridlocked traffic for days, with Customs and Border Protections (CBP) saying on Tuesday that wait times exceeded five hours and that commercial traffic have dropped by as much as 60%.
“The longer than average wait times – and the subsequent supply chain disruptions – are unrelated to CBP screening activities and are due to additional and unnecessary inspections being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) at the order of the Governor of Texas,” CBP said in a statement.
FIRST TEXAS BUS DROPS OFF MIGRANTS BLOCKS FROM US CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, DC
The White House ripped into Abbott, saying the moves are “impacting people’s jobs and the livelihoods of hardworking American families.”
“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are 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,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
But Abbott pushed back, saying that Texas “has been overrun with a record number of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into Texas with the assistance of cartels.” He said that he had been contacted by both the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, and all Mexican border governors.
“Until, however, those agreements are reached with those states, the Texas Department of Public Safety will continue to thoroughly inspect vehicles entering into the United States from every Mexican state except Nuevo Leon.”
He then put the ball into the court of the White House, saying that “the ultimate way to end the clogged border is for President Biden to do his job and to secure the border.”
“If you want relief from the clogged border, you need to call President Biden and tell him to maintain the Title 42 expulsion policy that has been in place for years,” he said, referring to the soon-to-expire public health order. “You need to tell President Biden to aggressively enforce the ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ policy. You need to call your member of Congress and insist that they hold the Biden administration accountable, and you need to demand that President Biden enforce the immigration laws that have already been passed by the US Congress,” he said.
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He also urged those concerned with the clogged traffic to put pressure on Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and “urge him to collaborate with Texas to end the influx of cartel activity from Mexico into Texas.”
“Clogged bridges can end only with the kind of collaboration we are demonstrating today between Texas and Nuevo Leon,” he said.
Fox News’ Jon Brown contributed to this report.