Mexico has asked Texas to end inspections of cargo trucks at the United States Southern Border.
President Andres Manuel López Obrador of Mexico has said Texas Governor Greg Abbott is “complicating” migration issues with stringent inspection of the trucks as they cross the border.
“The Mexican Government urges the U.S. government to mediate with Texas to stop the exhaustive inspections of cargo trucks carried out by the Texas Department of Public Safety,” said Mexico’s foreign ministry in a statement on Oct. 9, per Reuters.
The Mexican government has estimated the inspections have delayed at least 19,000 and prevented the transport of $1.9 billion worth of goods.
López Obrador has called the inspections “very irresponsible” and denounced Abbott.
“We are going to send a diplomatic note today to protest the Texas governor’s attitude of putting up obstacles to free transit on our borders without any reason, but rather with political motivations,” said López Obrador in a statement, according to AP News. “He is using the immigration issue to play politics.”
Abbott says the inspections help prevent illegal immigration and drug trafficking. The renewed inspections of commercial vehicles began in September and caused lengthy delays between eight to 24 hours. Lines reportedly stretched 14 miles.
The governor previously ordered state troopers in April of 2022 to carry out truck inspections on all commercial vehicles coming from four bordering Mexican states as part of Operation Lone Star – Abbott’s long-term plan to secure the border.
“The inspections ended when Abbott signed agreements with the four governors of the Mexican border states that they would increase security measures to prevent the smuggling of drugs and migrants,” reports the Texas Tribune. “But three of the four Mexican governors said they would simply continue security measures they already had put in place before Abbott ordered the state inspections.”
Abbott ordered that the inspections resume in June of 2022 after more than 60 migrants died in South Texas. At least seven died after being taken to the hospital for heat-related conditions. Another 53 migrants were found dead inside an abandoned semi-truck – including 40 men and 13 women from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
“President Biden needs to focus on addressing the humanitarian crisis his reckless leadership has created at the border, instead of attacking the jobs of hardworking Texans and oil production in the Permian Basin,” Abbott said during a press briefing in Eagle Pass.
According to an update from Abbott’s office released in March, Operation Lone Star has led to 355,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 25,000 criminal arrests – which resulted in 23,000 felony charges – in the two years since the multi-agency effort was launched. Additionally, over 366 million lethal doses of fentanyl have been seized as part of the border security effort.