Another truck convoy is disrupting the U.S. supply chain, but this time it’s on the Texas-Mexico border and has nothing to do with COVID mandates. Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas State Troopers (DPS) to conduct mandatory inspections of commercial vehicles coming in through the border.
These inspections are causing major delays. In some cases, trucks have sat in line for nine, 10, and up to 14 hours according to the New York Times. It’s so bad that truckers have started protesting or rerouting to Arizona and New Mexico.
Abbott’s inspections are unusual because Texas State Troopers are pulling over trucks at the border, which is run by federal agencies that already inspect the trucks. In fact, U.S. Customs says the new inspections are unnecessary and cited their “critical impact” on the national supply chain.
I could be wrong, but the subtext here reads: Stop, dude. WTF.
These inspections are part of Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s crusade for border security. And now that the Biden Administration rescinded Title 42, as the Tribune reports, Abbott wants Texas State Troopers to police an international border. It’s a fucking a mess, and one that Abbott won’t have to live with because he’s not from here. But, hey, it’ll make his presidential bid look good!
The Austin Statesman reports the national effects of these delays are imminent:
Since Monday, Mexican truckers have blocked the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in protest of Abbott directing Texas Department of Public Safety troopers last week to pull over and inspect trucks coming into Texas from Mexico. The bridge is the largest land port for produce entering the U.S.
Unusually long backups — some lasting 12 hours or longer — have also been reported elsewhere along Texas’ roughly 1,200-mile border in the early rollout of an initiative that Abbott says is needed to curb human trafficking and the flow of drugs. But critics question how the inspections are meeting that objective, while business owners and experts say the impact is already being felt and warned that U.S. grocery shoppers could notice shortages as soon as later this week.
More than 2,000 trucks are now stranded in Juarez-El Paso, per KGET, and those on the Mexican side are not moving. Trucks also halted at the McAllen-Hidalgo bridge, as protests against the inspections stopped the flow of goods.
And in the middle of all this, Abbott has kept quiet while State Troopers have yet to report any seizure of drugs or illegal immigrants. From the NYT:
The additional inspections are conducted by the DPS, which said that as of Monday, it had inspected more than 3,400 commercial vehicles and placed more than 800 “out of service” for violations that included defective brakes, tires and lighting. It made no mention of whether the truck inspections had turned up migrants or drugs.
For now, the trucks will be stuck at the border. The produce they carry rotting, while auto parts from Mexico — for VW, Ford, Bosch — won’t get to Detroit. Even HEB will be affected, and as Texans know, you don’t fuck with HEB.