AUSTIN, Texas – Texas House members that represent the border region have voiced their concern with Gov. Greg Abbott’s so-called “enhanced safety inspections.”
Twelve House members and one incoming House member have penned a letter to Abbott urging him to reconsider his recent decision to inspect trucks crossing north from Mexico. The inspections are in addition to those being conducted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The border delegation is asking Abbott to consider changes to state enforcement at land ports of entry “to allow for the continuation of safe and speedy transfer of goods across the border.” They are also asking that Abbott’s office work directly with the ports of entry and the Department of Homeland Security to “find a more effective process that efficiently moves trade goods across the border, while ensuring our state’s safety.”
In the letter, the House members point out that border elected officials and land port management were not consulted prior to the decision to start inspecting trucks. They worry that the disruption in the flow of trade that followed will hurt Texas’ pro-business reputation.
Here is the letter in full:
April 13, 2022
The Honorable Greg Abbott Governor of Texas
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, TX 78741
Dear Governor Abbott,
We are the legislators who represent the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border, North America’s busiest trade gateway. We represent a vibrant, complex, and growing border region, one that supports more than 382,000 jobs in Texas and moves more than $400 billion in goods across our border each year.
On Wednesday, April 6, you announced “enhanced safety inspections” of commercial vehicles coming through Mexico, and that this would “dramatically slow” traffic at the border. The Department of Public Safety began these inspections on April 7 without consultation with local elected officials or the local international ports. This lack of localized discussion greatly disrupted international trade and is significantly hurting Texas business and commerce.
Over the past several years, our country has suffered from disruptions to the supply chain, truck driver shortages, and inflation, and we are deeply concerned that Texas’ increased duplicative inspections will add fuel to the fire and greatly hurt the Texas economy. We have heard reports that some Texas ports are moving less than 25% of the cargo than they were just days prior to your order.
We write to you to request that you consider changes to state enforcement at these ports of entry to allow for the continuation of safe and speedy transfer of goods across the border. We ask that you work directly with the ports of entry and the Department of Homeland Security to find a more effective process that efficiently moves trade goods across the border, while ensuring our state’s safety.
Texas leaders, including you, have strategically positioned our state as a pro-business and pro-law enforcement state; however, it appears our pro-business reputation is severely under attack at the moment. We implore you to find a remedy to this serious disruption, so that our Texas businesses, which have taken such a hard hit, due to COVID, are not harmed further and Texans are not collaterally damaged.
State Representative Terry Canales, House District 40
State Representative Richard Peña Raymond, House District 42
State Representative Tracy O. King, House District 80
State Representative Armando ‘Mando’ Martinez, House District 39
State Representative Sergio Muñoz, House District 36
State Representative Joe Moody. House District 78
State Representative Mary González, House District 75
State Representative Evelina ‘Lina’ Ortega, House District 77
State Representative Eddie Morales, House District 74
State Representative Art Fierro, House District 79
State Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez, House District 76
State Representative Erin Gamez, House District 38
State Representative Bobby Guerra, House District 41
Editor’s Note: The letter states Erin Gamez as House member for District 38. Although Gamez has won a primary election and faces no opposition in the November general election, she is not, as yet, the House member for District 38. That will come next January, 2023.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows state Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg. Canales chairs the House Committee on Transportation.
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