EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Enhanced inspections of trucks crossing the border from Juarez to El Paso slowing the line as protestors block commercial lines completely at some ports of entry.
The new inspections, by the Texas Department of Public Safety, are part of a directive from Governor Greg Abbott, as part of an initiative to stop human trafficking and illegal activities.
“They’re checking everything, how the truck is, everything on the truck,” said truck driver Christian Sanchez after he went through the new inspections at the Bridge of the Americas on Tuesday.
On the Mexican side of the border trucks and people block the commercial lanes in protest of the long wait times in enhanced inspections are causing.
“No, they’re stopped, those are blocked and you can’t cross, just this bridge,” said Rogelio Perez Acuna a truck driver who passed through the Bridge of the Americas on Tuesday, as it was the only bridge open to commercial traffic throughout most of the day as protestors blocked the others.
University of Texas Economics Professor Tom Fullerton saying the back up of commercial trucks will have an impact on the economy.
“A lot of different parts of final products that are now getting delayed in terms of being able to be finished and we’ve observed in 2020 and 2021 what this has implied in terms of consumer electronics and automobiles, and this is just going to worsen an already bad situation,” said Fullerton.
Another economic expert, a professor at Texas A&M saying Americans will see an impact from the slow moving traffic at the ports of entry and the grocery store.
“They don’t know when this is going to resume so prices are going to react now when you look at grocery prices they’re already reacting, how long is this going to take, how long is this going to take to go back to normal that is also unknown,” said Luis A Ribera the Director for the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M.
U.S. Customs and Border Protections calling for the Texas Government to remove the enhanced inspections.
“These unnecessary inspections are occurring when vehicles exit U.S. ports of entry within the El Paso and Laredo areas of operation after being comprehensively inspected and cleared to enter the United States by CBP. As a result, vehicles have been significantly delayed in exiting the federal inspection plaza, leading to traffic disruptions and critical impacts to an already-strained supply chain.”Portion of the statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Governor Greg Abbott visited El Paso on Monday, speaking about the end of Title 42 coming to an end on May 23. Which is a federal mandate that allowed for Border Patrol Agents to expel migrants arriving to the U.S. back to Mexico.
The same day as the governors visit is when protestors on the Mexican side started blocking commercial lanes at the Ysleta Port of Entry and then by Tuesday the Santa Teresa commercial lanes.
Santa Teresa commercial lanes did reopen Tuesday afternoon and hours of operation will be extended on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
On Tuesday, Candidate for Texas Governor Beto O’rouke speaking about the impact of blocked ports across the Texas / U.S. Mexico Border.
“That is causing higher prices, higher inflation, it is worsening a supply chain problem that we already had in the united states,” said O’Rouke.