McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Mexico’s president says he is fed up with Texas’ DPS enhanced truck inspections and U.S. ports of entry on the Texas-Mexico border.
On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to enforce enhanced inspections of commercial vehicles at the border was “very irresponsible” and he told media he thinks it is politically motivated.
“He is using the immigration issue to play politics,” López Obrador said.
He says he intends to send a diplomatic note to the United States protesting the inspections.
Inspections of truck at the border in Eagle Pass, Texas, have cost Mexico over $500,000 in lost trade and revenue, Coahuila Gov.-elect Manolo Jiménez Salinas said recently.
Mandatory truck inspections have compounded the situation there because for the past three weeks, only one of the city’s two bridges leading to Piedras Negras, Mexico, has been open.
Bridge I has been closed to surge U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to help Border Patrol process an influx of thousands of migrants per day who have been illegally crossing the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass.
And although the Camino Real International Bridge (also called Bridge II) remains open to commercial traffic, the enhanced inspections by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers on trucks that cross the bridge, have caused traffic delays and long wait times, Texas state Rep. Eddie Morales Jr., a Democrat who represents Eagle Pass, told Border Report.
Morales says since Friday the DPS inspections have eased up significantly but Bridge I remains closed.
On Monday, Morales sent a letter to the port director in Eagle Pass asking that Bridge I be reopened.
“This closure has brought a significant concern from local leaders and critical trading partners. While I understand the pressing need to address the surge of migrants illegally crossing into the United States, it is imperative that international trade not be sacrificed in that endeavor,” Morales wrote in the letter that was shared with Border Report.
Mexico’s national freight transport chamber said Sunday that 19,000 trucks have been delayed at the border. The trucks were carrying about $1.9 billion in goods, the freight association said.
Eagle Pass residents tell Border Report that traffic at the one open bridge is very backed up and they aren’t sure if it’s due to the inspections or the fact that everyone has to use one bridge.
Border Report has asked DPS whether truck inspections have eased in Eagle Pass and why the need for the inspections. This story will be updated if information is received.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.