The saga that began at the Mexican border crossing of Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge, which is now spreading across all Texas/Mexico Ports of Entry, has been interesting this week. Sparked by the addition of inspections from the Texas Department of Public Safety, truckers began protesting on Monday, April 11th, closing the Pharr and El Paso crossings. Those protests and blockades spread to more crossings, causing a 60% drop in commercial traffic and reports from drivers of up to 30-hour wait times.
Well, that did not make anyone happy, especially the fine folks over at the Gulf Cartel. They decided to “brute force” the situation by setting four trucks on fire. It was an attempt, in my opinion, to cause a stampede and force the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and Mexican National Guard to “swing wide the gates.” According to the Austin American Statesman, on Monday alone, “Texas DPS had inspected 3,400 commercial vehicles and issued more than 800 Out-of-Service orders for defective brakes, tires, and lighting.” That’s a big chunk of the workforce for only one day.
Since Monday, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has signed three security agreements with the Mexican governors of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo León. Enhanced inspections will continue on the Mexican side of the border, while Texas would return to normal routine checks. The agreements call for the use of drones, cameras, and more patrolling along the borders. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens over the weekend to see if things continue to ease or whether the blockades continue in other areas.
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