Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded his immigration order Friday that backed up commercials trucks at the U.S.-Mexico border, after reaching a series of deals with Mexican border states.
The Texas-Mexico agreements ultimately put a positive spin on a chaotic move which featured numerous traffic snarls at the border, intense public backlash, and fears of economic stagnation.
The order’s rules previously required all commercial trucks from Mexico to undergo enhanced inspections, as a means of restricting the flow of migrants and drugs crossing the border.
Instead, the results created traffic jams that kept some drivers waiting for up to 30 hours in one sitting. There were also non-drivers, or protesters, clogging up the bridge connecting Del Rio in Texas to Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña.
Abbott lifted the inspections order after securing agreements with the four neighboring Mexican states: Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua.
According to Abbott’s office, the first domino in this process fell on Thursday, when Mexican Gov. Samuel García signed a memorandum of understanding between the State of Texas and the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo León to enhance border security measures to prevent illegal immigration.
Upon announcing the first agreement, Abbott blasted President Joe Biden for rescinding effective border security measures, such as Title 42.
“Texans demand and deserve an aggressive, comprehensive border security strategy that will protect our communities from the dangerous consequences related to illegal immigration,” Abbott said of the first agreement.
“Until President Biden enforces the immigration laws passed by Congress, Texas will step up and use its own strategies to secure the border and negotiate with Mexico to seek solutions that will keep Texans safe.
“This historic memorandum of understanding between Texas and Nuevo León is a major step in the Lone Star State’s efforts to secure the border in the federal government’s absence,” Abbott added.
The Tamaulipas governor was the last to reach an understanding with the state of Texas, allowing Gov. Abbott to officially scale back the order.
When Abbott began enforcing the order, there was no public mention of it being contingent on separate deals with Mexican territories.
A few days ago, the American Trucking Association called the inspections “wholly flawed, redundant and adding considerable weight on an already strained supply chain.”
And one customs agents in Mexico reportedly estimated the losses at millions of dollars a day, which didn’t even cover the logistical problems from all the traffic delays.
Texas oversees the vast majority of the U.S.-Mexico border (approximately 1,200 miles of land), which also touches parts of New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
According to the AP, the U.S. imported $390.7 billion worth of goods from Mexico last year — running second only to China.
Earlier this week, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., sent a letter to the Biden administration, imploring it to suspend the repeal of Title 42 — at least until an alternative program or comprehensive response could be put in place.
And before that, Sinema, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would ensure “the Administration coordinates and communicates with border communities and puts a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42.”
In essence, the bill would have placed a 60-day emergency hold on the repeal of Title 42. At the end of that period, according to Sinema’s website, Homeland Security would have “30 days to submit to Congress a plan to address the impacts of the post-Title 42 migrant influx.”
The Biden administration’s repeal of Title 42 isn’t just a partisan issue. The list of Democratic senators joining the bipartisan cause of Abbott, Sinema, and the GOP are: Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.