PHARR, TX – A recent ruling was made by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in regard to border crossing inspections. The government official announced last week that all commercial vehicles crossing the Texas-Mexico border will undergo a thorough inspection upon arrival at United States checkpoints. Already, the ruling has created significant delays in transportation.
“This weekend, the fresh produce industry saw millions of dollars of fresh fruits and vegetables held hostage on the international bridges between Texas and Mexico in the lead-up to the Easter holiday pull,” Dante Galeazzi, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), said to ANUK. “As we have reiterated many times, TIPA supports border security, but what we are experiencing today is not that. Our companies are being used as bargaining chips. This industry pays taxes, calls Texas home, employs thousands of Texans, and feeds the country. Our people should not be punished.”
TIPA released a statement outlining that these enhanced safety inspections are Level 1 and take 45 minutes to complete. The statement also noted that some bridges are experiencing 100 percent inspection rates, while others have low inspection rates, and some have not implemented any.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the ruling comes following the Biden administration’s decision to end the pandemic-era Title 42 health order. The inspections are being put in place to mitigate the migration of immigrants, drug smugglers, and illegal cargo carriers, another report stated.
The news source went on to note that as of Friday, truck lines were averaging three to four hours along the Texas-Mexico border, with more delays expected as we head into the week. As we have seen previously, these delays may result in higher prices on goods, accounting for increased transportation costs surrounding time lost and fuel used.
TIPA noted this morning that a protest is currently underway at the Pharr International Bridge, where a blockade has been created by truckers. According to this report, truckers faced delays in excess of 30 hours while attempting to cross over the weekend.
“For the sake of the many American families and especially those in Texas who are counting on healthful fresh fruits and vegetables for the Easter Holiday, and on behalf of Texas businesses who not only are employers but also keep the economy of the state going, we ask you to reconsider the state Department of Public Safety inspections of fresh produce trucks occurring in Texas ports of entry,” the association stated in a letter addressed to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) also commented on the situation.
“We agree that safety and security are paramount, which is why the inspections of commercial trucks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are considered to be the best in the world,” added FPAA President and CEO Lance Jungmeyer. “Texas has some of the most secure Commercial Ports of Entry anywhere along the U.S. border. Officers use sophisticated technology to see through the trailers and catch illicit cargo and prevent human smuggling.”