FederalImmigration & BorderTransportationCommissioner Sid Miller Says Abbott’s Border Inspection Policy Is ‘Turning a Crisis Into a Catastrophe’

Truckers are reportedly being redirected to locations as far away as Arizona, amid wait times of up to 12 hours at Texas ports of entry.
April 13, 2022
Governor Greg Abbott’s directive to the Texas Department of Public Safety to conduct enhanced inspections of vehicles entering Texas from Mexico is drawing ire from critics including the Biden administration and even Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a Republican.

Miller condemned the enhanced inspections in a statement on Tuesday, calling on Abbott to focus on litigation in federal courts to stop the cancellation of Title 42 expulsions, which are slated to end in May.

“You cannot solve a border crisis by creating another crisis at the border. These Level 1 inspections serve as a ‘clog in the drain’ and divert commerce and jobs to more western ports of entry,” Miller said.

“This is not solving the border problem, it is increasing the cost of food and adding to supply chain shortages. Such a misguided program is going to quickly lead to $2.00 lemons, $5.00 avocados and worse. Texas should instead lead the way by urging other states to join Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit to preserve Title 42.”

The commissioner’s office indicated that “Level 1 inspections,” which are taking up to an hour per vehicle, are resulting in wait times of eight to 12 hours for commercial traffic into Texas. For instance, northbound traffic toward the Pharr International Bridge has been inhibited to the point that some are taking a 20-hour detour to another port of entry in Nogales, Arizona.

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The fallout of Abbott’s directive has included Mexican truckers “blockading” roads leading to Texas and trucks running out of gas, leaving refrigerated produce to rot, according to Miller’s press release.

“And today the U.S. Labor Department reported the indicators for energy, gasoline, natural gas and electricity are up 32%, 48%, 21.6% and 11.1% over last year, so this inspection program is turning a crisis into a catastrophe,” Miller said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Abbott’s inspection policy “unnecessary and redundant” in a statement published on Wednesday.

“​​Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision because trucks are facing lengthy delays exceeding 5 hours at some border crossings and commercial traffic has dropped by as much as 60 percent,” Psaki said.

Abbott contended last week when he announced the policy that the inspections are necessary to detect human smuggling.

In addition to the enhanced inspections, the State of Texas is also providing transportation for illegal aliens who have federal documentation and volunteer to go to Washington, D.C. as part of Abbott’s response to the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 enforcement. The first groups of illegal aliens arrived in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

The governor is slated to hold a press conference in Laredo on Wednesday afternoon with Nuevo León Governor Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."