Mexico Threatens Diplomatic Action As Texas Border Security Delays 19,000 Trucks

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that he will send a diplomatic note to the U.S. regarding Texas's border cargo inspections that are causing significant delays to U.S.-bound traffic.

Mr. Obrador said that 19,000 trucks carrying goods worth $1.9 billion have been impacted by the increased security.

He criticized Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision, denouncing it as both irresponsible and "politically motivated," accusing Mr. Abbott of exploiting the illegal immigration crisis for political gain.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) initiated "enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections" on Sept. 19 in the vicinity of El Paso and Del Rio to combat illegal activities including drug and human smuggling, and to identify unsafe vehicles.

In September, Mr. Abbott declared an "invasion" at the southern U.S. border, attributing the surge in illegal immigration to President Joe Biden's policies. He had announced the deployment of the National Guard, DPS, and local law enforcement to address the crisis.

Mr. Abbott shared his declaration on X, formerly Twitter, on Sept. 20, emphasising the state's efforts to secure the border and the safety of Texan residents, by completing the border wall, and installing razor wire and marine barriers.

Mexico’s Freight Transport Chamber Protests

Mexico’s national freight transport chamber, the National Chamber of Cargo Transportation (CANACAR), said on Sunday that it joins the concerns of different sectors in Mexico's north regarding the crisis that continues on the border between Mexico and Texas due to the unilateral decision of Texas to impose inspections on Mexican trucks seeking to cross into the state.

"It has been 21 days since Governor Greg Abbott's administration made the decision to stop the flow of units traveling over the three bridges that divide the Ciudad Juárez region with El Paso, Texas," the group said in a statement.

It added that in this period, CANACAR has a record backlog of at least 19,000 trucks that have not been able to cross the border, with $1.9 billion in merchandise being stranded at the border. This has already generated a serious impact on trade between Mexico and the United States, the complaint said.

Trucks wait in a long queue to cross into the United States after the Texas Department of Public Safety announced increased security checks at the international ports of entry into Texas, at the Zaragoza-Ysleta border crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on April 9, 2022. (REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

The CANACAR in its statement urged the Texas government to revoke its measure, which it said hampers the region's development and jeopardizes tens of thousands of jobs in both Mexico and the United States.

The Mexico’s freight transport chamber also dubbed the measure by Texas as "absurd" and said that the presence of elements of the Texas Department of Security at border crossings and the implementation of review operations has caused lane closures, and increased crossing times by up to 24 hours.

According to figures from the Ministry of Economy, Mexico is the largest buyer of Texas exports. In 2021, the value of trade in goods with Mexico amounted to $231 billion, with 400,000 jobs relying on these exchanges.

Border Crisis

There has been an ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border related to unvetted immigration, which has surged to 2,860,127 unvetted immigrated entering the United States in FY2023, as per the latest data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These figures significantly surpass the 2020 figure of 646,822 and even the previous high of 2,766,582 seen in 2022.

The Biden administration has faced criticism from Mr. Abbott for failing to secure Texas's border.

"President Biden’s reckless open border policies have created an ongoing crisis at our southern border as record levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs, and weapons pour into Texas," his office has said.

In response to the unsustainable crisis, for which Texas has long born the brunt, in 2021, Mr. Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, deploying the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to the southern border.

"Operation Lone Star personnel work around-the-clock to detect and repel illegal crossings, arrest human smugglers and cartel gang members, and stop the flow of deadly drugs and weapons into our nation. While the federal government ignores this crisis, Texas is holding the line," its website says.

However, most recently, in a notable policy shift, the Biden administration declared on Oct. 5 the urgent need to expedite the construction of the U.S.–Mexico border wall in Starr County, Texas, citing to the significant rise in illegal immigration.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the waiving of 26 federal regulations to fast-track the construction of roads and barriers along the southern border in Texas.

These new barriers will be erected within the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, specifically in areas marked as "high illegal entry" zones. Construction will take place near Falcon Dam, the Arroyo Morteros Tract, Las Ruinas Tract, Arroyo Ramirez Tract, key intersections like Perez Road and U.S. Highway 83, and multiple tracts within the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Mr. Abbott had criticized the Biden administration's failure to adopt such border policies sooner, but instead having rolled back Trump-era policies and measures like the border wall construction, which the governor said has led to unprecedented illegal immigration numbers.

In the beginning of 2021, the Biden administration ceased the ongoing border wall construction initiated by former President Donald Trump.

On Oct. 4, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said from a Mexico visit that the United States and Mexico share a "mutual responsibility" regarding the current crises of fentanyl trafficking and illegal immigration that must be tackled through cooperation between the two countries.

Authored by Rashi Varshney via The Epoch Times,

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