Following a week intensifying backlash, protests, and fears of economic losses, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ended his immigration order that led to Mexican truckers blockading border bridges in protest and holding up food supplies to the US.
Abbott’s order last week mandated “enhanced safety inspections” of vehicles crossing into Texas from Mexico in what he portrayed as stepped-up efforts against human trafficking and contraband being smuggled across the US-Mexico border. However, shortly after the policy was put into place, truckers began reporting waiting more than 30 hours to cross and numerous Mexican truck drivers blockaded border bridges. Abbott received harsh backlash from both parties, as well as the White House.
On Friday, Abbott announced that he had reached an agreement with officials from four neighboring Mexican states—Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas—on improving border security and was thus lifting the controversial policy.
“As we are speaking this moment, all these bridges are opened back up to normal trafficking. And so, all the goods that used to go from one country to the other at a very rapid pace, they are moving at that rapid pace as we speak right now,” Abbott announced during a news conference on Friday.
“If we do see increased [illegal] trafficking across the border we will strategically shut down certain bridges,” he warned.
Abbott, who is up for reelection in November, has made the border his top issue. Alongside the inspections, the Texas governor has chartered buses to Washington, D.C.. He has stated that both measures were in response to the Biden administration’s decision to bring an end, in May, to Title 42, a pandemic-era emergency health order under which most migrants, including those seeking asylum, could be immediately turned away from the border.