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Texas reaches deal with Mexican state of Chihuahua to decrease border inspections

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reached a deal with his Mexican counterpart in Chihuahua for a border security plan that will decrease inspections that have created a bottleneck at the ports of entry.

Abbott said the plan would prevent illegal immigration and drug smuggling, calling the deal the “best security border plan” he has seen from any Mexican governor during a press conference in Austin on Thursday.

“It will allow Chihuahua state police to track vehicles from the moment they leave an industrial park in Juarez (Mexico) until they cross the border into Texas. In addition, the state of Chihuahua is also incorporating technologies, such as drones, to patrol the border,” Abbott read from the border agreement.

Thursday’s deal impacts the four international bridges in El Paso, Texas — the largest border city in the Lone Star State.

Abbott ordered the inspections on April 6 in response to the federal government ending the Title 42 public health authority, which was put in place by President Trump’s administration.

The inspections by Texas state troopers have snarled border traffic, led to three international bridge closures, and cost Texas businesses millions of dollars each day.

The deal only applies to ports of entry in Texas that border the state of Chihuahua.
AP/Acacia Coronado
A long line of trucks is seeing stalled at the Bridge of the Americas
Chihuahua is incorporating drones to monitor the border.
AP/Omar Ornelas

Texas troopers do not have the authority to check cargo for drug or human smuggling, which was Abbott’s stated goals for the inspections. Troopers can only perform mechanical checks.

The deal struck on Thursday only applies to ports of entry in Texas that border the state of Chihuahua. Yesterday, Abbott signed a similar deal with the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.

“My office and the Texas Secretary of State have also been contacted by border issues by the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Coahuila and after this meeting, I will be meeting with the governor from, Coahuila, and I look forward to meeting with the governor from Tamaulipas which could occur as soon as tomorrow where we will be working to similar results,” Abbott said.

Santa Teresa Port
Truckers block the entry way for commercial truckers to enter the Santa Teresa Port of Entry leading into New Mexico. / Roberto E. Rosales
Texas Governor Greg Abbot
Abbott ordered the inspections on April 6 in response to the federal government ending the Title 42 public health authority.
Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Agreements with the states of Tamaulipas and Coahuila would free the entire Texas border with Mexico of Texas secondary inspections and return business travel in Texas to normal.

Abbott, who is running for re-election, has been accused of ordering the inspections as a political stunt by his Democratic rival, Beto O’Rourke.

“Abbott is the arsonist who torched the Texas economy by shutting down trade with Mexico to score cheap political points,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “Now he wants credit for putting out the fire by announcing these ridiculous “security agreements.” Texans aren’t buying it and we’ll never forget the chaos Abbott has caused to our economy and our border communities.”

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