White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement on enhanced inspections of commercial trucks at the Texas-Mexico border that has created long waits and prompted a blockade in protest
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"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 the statement.
"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.
"The continuous flow of legitimate trade and travel and CBP’s ability to do its job should not be obstructed. Governor Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families," Psaki said in the statement.
Since Monday, Mexican truckers have blocked the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge — one of the busiest trade ports on the U.S.-Mexico border — in protest after Abbott last week directed state troopers to stop and inspect trucks coming into Texas.
Unusually long backups — some lasting 12 hours or longer — have stacked up elsewhere along Texas’ roughly 1,200-mile border.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called on the Governor of Texas to cease his truck inspection project, calling it a catastrophic policy which has now led to Mexican truckers blockading the border.
Miller said that shifting Texas resources to fighting the lifting of Title 42 is the smart way to go. Title 42 is a longstanding federal law requiring the detention of aliens arriving in the United States who might transmit diseases of public health significance.
Truckers have blocked northbound lanes to the Pharr International Bridge, forcing all commercial traffic to be diverted to other ports of entry. Some traffic is being rerouted to Nogales, AZ – a twenty-hour diversion to avoid these new Level 1 inspections.
The additional wait time of eight to twelve hours have resulted in trucks running out of fuel and produce rotting due to the lengthy inspection delays.
“Up to 20,000 truckers cross the border on a normal day. My reports are that each inspection is taking an hour and has created a backlog with thousands of trucks clogging the border. Refrigerated produce is being ruined as trucks run out of fuel after being in line for over a day,” Miller commented.
“And today the U.S. Labor Department reported the indicators for energy, gasoline, natural gas and electricity are up 32%, 48%, 21.6% and 11.1% over last year, so this inspection program is turning a crisis into a catastrophe.”
Miller proposes a shift in state resources to known corridors of illegal immigration into Texas, as well as fighting the Biden administration in federal court.
“You cannot solve a border crisis by creating another crisis at the border. These Level 1 inspections serve as a ‘clog in the drain’ and divert commerce and jobs to more western ports of entry.”
“This is not solving the border problem, it is increasing the cost of food and adding to supply chain shortages. Such a misguided program is going to quickly lead to $2.00 lemons, $5.00 avocados and worse. Texas should instead lead the way by urging other states to join Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit to preserve Title 42.”
“Almost a year ago, General Paxton filed a lawsuit to uphold the Trump administration’s Title 42 policy. Why aren’t we fighting for this policy before the U.S. Supreme Court right now?”
“If the Biden administration can’t be compelled to do their job to protect the border, then we need a federal judge to compel Biden to do what is right. Biden has a Border Czar who has been to the border once and has done nothing else to resolve this crisis.”
“Title 42 was working under President Biden but now we risk clogging legal traffic at our border while letting the floodgates open with potential illegal immigrants who may carry the Covid-19 virus. It’s utter nonsense and dangerous to the health and welfare of the American people,” Miller stated. ■