Abbott Eases Some Border Inspections as Traffic Backups Spur Inflation Concerns

Headline Roundup April 14th, 2022

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott prompted criticism from Democrats and truckers after new safety inspections of commercial vehicles led to long traffic backups at several key border crossings. 

Like busing migrants voluntarily to Washington D.C., the inspections were part of Abbott’s response to the Biden administration ending fast-tracked deportations under Title 42. According to a CBP estimate, some trucks have had to wait over five hours to cross the border. On Monday and Tuesday, Mexican truckers blockaded the Pharr–Reynosa International Bridge to protest the inspections. On Wednesday, Abbott announced that he would end inspections at another border crossing because the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo León agreed to increase security on his end. 

Abbott, who faces a 2022 election challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke, has said the inspections were needed to secure the border in the absence of Title 42. Others, including O’Rourke and White House press secretary Jen Psaki, have raised concerns that the border backups would hurt Texas businesses and exacerbate inflation

Coverage was common across the spectrum on Wednesday and Thursday. While outlets across the spectrum covered criticisms of the inspections and Abbott’s easing of inspections at one crossing, right-rated outlets were more likely to cover some of Abbott’s statements on border security. 

From the Left

Huge, multi-mile traffic jams at numerous U.S. border crossings in Mexico worsened Wednesday as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) largely kept in place his new restrictions that require secondary inspections of commercial trucks and other vehicles.

The new policy, announced last week, has led some truckers to remain snarled in traffic for more than 30 hours, prompting desperate pleas from fruit and vegetable importers, the auto industry and other executives who said their products are being caught up in a political standoff.

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From the Right

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to continue the truck inspections that have snarled traffic at the Texas-Mexico border until there is action from both President Biden and Mexican officials to stem the ongoing migrant crisis at the southern border.

Abbott spoke Wednesday as he signed a memorandum of understanding with the governor of Nuevo Leon that would see inspections stopped at the bridge in Laredo in return for what he called "enhanced border security enforcement measures" at the ports of entry and along the Rio Grande from Nuevo Leon.

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From the Center

Gov. Greg Abbott lifted enhanced inspections at one border crossing Wednesday, after Nuevo León Governor Samuel García agreed to establish checkpoints and patrols to prevent unauthorized border crossings into Texas.

But truckers continued to wait hours to cross at the Ysleta and the Bridge of the Americas ports of entry in El Paso. 

Truckers said they usually spend two or three hours crossing into El Paso from Juárez. After Gov. Greg Abbott announced new Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper inspections at ports of entry, truckers this week suddenly found themselves in 10-plus hour lines. 

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