(Trends Wide) — Commercial traffic on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, a major entry point for the US-Mexico border that moves commercial and passenger vehicles, is “temporarily halted” due to a protest on the Mexican side of the bridge. border and “there are no movements of US carriers southbound,” a US Customs and Border Protection official confirmed to Trends Wide on Monday.
Reynosa Mayor Carlos Peña Ortiz declined to comment on the matter.
Last week, Abbott’s office announced several actions in response to President Joe Biden’s plans to lift Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic policy that prevents migrants from seeking asylum in the US, by the end of May.
The strategies, according to a statement from Governor Abbott’s office, are intended to “reduce the flow of drugs, human traffickers, illegal immigrants, weapons and other contraband into Texas” and include “enhanced security inspections” of commercial vehicles that they enter the US through the US ports of entry.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) did not respond when asked by Trends Wide if any commercial drivers have been charged with human trafficking or drug-related offenses, but noted that as of Sunday they had inspected 2,685 commercial vehicles at ports of entry in the U.S. Texas-Mexico border, removing 646 of them from service for “serious safety violations” that include defective brakes, tires and lights.
Texas border inspections are considered excessive by at least two major trade groups, who say the new policy wreaks havoc on the border.
“Adding additional Texas DPS inspection when trucks have already crossed causes serious delays without a commensurate increase in border security,” Lance Jungmeyer of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas wrote to Abbott on Saturday.
“More than $9 billion worth of goods are traded through Texas,” he wrote, adding that this border inspection policy “severely affects commerce” throughout the state.
Last Sunday, the president of the Border Trade Alliance, a non-profit organization that brings together more than 4.2 million representatives of the public and private sectors affected by the commercial relations of the United States, Mexico and Canada, issued a statement in who warns that Abbott’s policy could drive up consumer prices.
“We oppose any action at the state level that adds a process that duplicates inspections already conducted by US Customs and Border Protection,” Britton Mullen said in her statement.
“While border states like Texas have an important role to play in ensuring truck safety and compliance with code, the state should work collaboratively with CBP, not join to a new inspection scheme that will slow down the movement of cargo, which will only exacerbate the country’s supply chain crisis and put more upward pressure on consumer prices.
Trends Wide contacted Abbott’s office for his response to criticism of his new policy and the bottleneck it created at the border.