McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Coahuila Gov.-elect Manolo Jiménez Salinas met this week to discuss security and cross-border trade, but a state lawmaker tells Border Report that the mandatory truck inspections in Eagle Pass are what the leaders need to sort out.
Texas state Rep. Eddie Morales Jr., D-Eagle Pass, said the commercial truck inspections that the Texas Department of Public Safety has been conducting for two weeks to stop the flow of migrants and drugs is crippling trade in the region.
Morales says truckers across the border in Piedras Negras are waiting in lines “for miles” to cross Bridge 2, the commercial port of entry, since DPS inspections resurfaced last month.
Freight Waves reports a loss of 30,000 passenger vehicles and 4,000 cargo trucks in the past two weeks.
“The concern is that some of these already established commercial trucking lines, because of the 100% commercial inspections, they’re going to find an alternate route, and then they’re not going to come back,” Morales said Wednesday.
For several weeks, the region has seen upwards of 10,000 asylum-seekers per day cross from Piedras Negras into Eagle Pass. Most cross via the river, Morales says, not inside the commercial trucks that come through ports of entry.
The influx caused the closure in late September of Bridge 1 to vehicular traffic, and the bridge still remains closed, Morales said Wednesday. On Sept. 20, DPS truck inspections began at the Camino Real International Bridge, known as Bridge 2, for commercial vehicles.
Abbott ordered the truck inspections as part of Operation Lone Star, a $10 billion state-funded border security initiative that Texas has undertaken because the state believes the federal government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration.
Border Report reached out to the governor’s office and asked if Abbott and Jiménez Salinas discussed this topic. This story will be updated if the information is received.
Commercial truck inspections currently are being conducted by DPS at international bridges in El Paso and Del Rio, Texas and at the Camino Real International Bridge in Eagle Pass.
“These inspections are focused on safety and equipment violations that jeopardize public safety. Cartels do not care about the condition of the vehicles they send into Texas any more than they do about the human lives they cram into tractor-trailers or those lost to a fentanyl overdose,” DPS Press Secretary Ericka Miller told Border Report on Wednesday.
After hearing about Abbott’s Monday meeting with Jiménez Salinas, Morales said he reached out to set up his own meeting with the incoming Mexican leader who takes office on Dec. 1. He said he requested they talk about the truck inspections later this week before Morales and other Texas lawmakers are called into another special legislative session that begins Oct. 9 in Austin.
Abbott and Jiménez Salinas met at the governor’s mansion in Austin “to strengthen the two states’ continued cooperation on border security and commitment to fostering strong economic ties,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
The pair discussed nearshoring “and ‘friendshoring,'” the statement said, but it was unclear whether the commercial truck inspections were brought up.
Nearshoring is when business operations or industries are moved to a closer country to streamline the supply chain. This became a big issue during the COVID-19 pandemic when supply chains were stifled through reduced supply coming from China.
Since then, North American and Latin American leaders have been working to move more maquiladoras and other industries to this hemisphere.
It was a common topic discussed in August at the NADBank binational summit held in San Antonio.
In a Spanish tweet after his meeting with Abbott, Jiménez Salinas wrote, “We are going to build a great work plan that we will implement starting Dec. 1 to strengthen relations between #Coahuila and #Texas.”
Abbott tweeted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, after their meeting: “I look forward to continuing the partnership between our two states as we cooperate on border security, public safety, & economic development.”
Abbott’s office said both also traced the region’s history, which two centuries ago included “Texas’ and Coahuila’s shared history as one state.”
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.