Last week, on the heels of the Biden Administration announcing an end to a policy that turned away those seeking asylum from crossing the US-Mexico border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott enacted a mandate requiring all delivery vehicles crossing the border to be subject to additional screening from state troopers. This mandate has proven deeply unpopular with shipping workers on both sides of the border, as the doubled searches are causing severe traffic build-ups, which in turn lead to longer wait times on important deliveries.
In a letter to Abbott, Dante L. Galeazzi, CEO and president of the Texas International Produce Association, stressed that the mandate “has wreaked havoc up and down our supply chain and is likely to leave state store shelves with limited fresh produce supplies.”
“Border security is an important element of this region, but so is the trade that keeps millions of Texans employed. According to a study from Texas A&M, fresh produce arriving from Mexico not only employs nearly 8,000 Texans but is also responsible for $850M in economic impact to the state.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection called the state inspections ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott “unnecessary” and said commercial traffic at the Texas-Mexico border has dropped 60% since they began. https://t.co/DKF6HvUgKK
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) April 13, 2022
“Adding an additional Texas DPS inspection once trucks have crossed the border is causing serious delays with no commensurate increase in border safety,” Lance Jungmeyer, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas president, wrote in a separate letter to Abbott.
Yesterday, a group of Mexican truckers formed a blockade on the Mexican side of the border to protest the mandate. At time of writing, the blockade is still there, and Abbott has not commented on the complaints.