Right-wing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s political stunt that has forced commercial truckers to undergo unnecessary secondary inspections and resulted in massive delays and financial losses has been an absolute trainwreck—and he knows it.
That’s why he sat down for a photo opportunity on Wednesday to sign a supposed deal with the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo León. The agreement purports to “ease commercial traffic at the Laredo-Colombia bridge,” The Texas Tribune reports. Patting himself on the back for claiming to nix a problem he created—gotta hand it to that guy.
But in reality, the agreement “provides little relief for the overall trade logjam” created by Abbott in retaliation for the Biden administration’s just decision to stop enforcing Stephen Miller’s anti-asylum Title 42 policy. A dozen other crossings remain impacted by Abbott’s stunt, including the Pharr Bridge, the busiest crossing in terms of getting Mexican produce to the U.S.
RELATED STORY: Greg Abbott's own party slams his unnecessary secondary inspections as 'political theater'
While he may have gotten one Mexican governor to sit for a photo op with him, Abbott is overall at the center of international ire. In the U.S., the White House has criticized the inspections as “unnecessary and redundant,” adding that food disruptions are “raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.” Customs and Border Protection also called the inspections “unnecessary,” noting they happen after commercial vehicles have been “comprehensively inspected and cleared to enter the United States by CBP.”
Listen and subscribe to Daily Kos' The Brief podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld
Across the border, “Mexico's government said in a statement it ‘rejects’ the inspections imposed by Texas,” Reuters reported, estimating "significant revenue" losses for both nations. The Texas Tribune reports that the governors of two Mexican states have also criticized Abbott’s stunt as “overzealous,” with Chihuahua’s governor “concerned over how the added inspections have affected both countries’ economies,” the report said.
Mexican truckers have also mounted protests over the stunt, recently telling The Texas Tribune that “no one has told us what the reason for this is or asked what solutions we can come up with together … All we know is that it’s an order from the governor of Texas.”
As previously noted, Abbott is also facing pressure from within his own party, after Texas Agriculture commissioner and fellow right-winger Sid Miller slammed the stunt as “political theater” and “economy killing action.” The policy forcing unnecessary secondary inspections “has been such a disaster that Abbott was even excoriated for it by the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page,” The Washington Post noted.
“Idled trucks are costing businesses millions of dollars a day and risk food spoilage,” that editorial said. “Supermarkets are scrambling to restock shelves.” It also pointed to a complaint from Miller, who said that Abbott’s political stunt would lead to $5 avocados. Hey, as a Mexican American, I’d be mad too.
“Texas food-growers say enhanced border inspections are threatening business,” KVUE reported. Little Bear Produce, a grower and shipper of green onions and melons, said it’s had trucks stuck for two to three days.
“These fruits and vegetables that we're bringing are perishable, they're highly perishable, especially the greens,” Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Bret Erickson told the outlet. “So every hour, every day, that goes by, the quality of these products are diminishing. Once you harvest the commodity, it's a race to get it to the grocery store shelf, so that you can get it to the final end use, consumer, as fresh as possible.”
Abbott knows he created a big fucking mess, which is why he’s tried really hard to make his grotesque bussing of asylum-seekers to Washington, D.C., the story everyone pays attention to. He’s already pledged to do it again.
“As a long-time DC resident, I hate seeing our town used again as a political prop,” American Immigration Council Senior Policy Counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick tweeted to Abbott. “Guess what, Greg Abbott. We're not afraid of migrants. We are a vibrant immigrant community that has already welcomed tens of thousands of migrants in the last few years. We have heart—unlike you.”
RELATED STORIES: Abbott's increased truck inspections in response to Biden admin leading to huge delays, rotting food
Local advocates say they're ready to aid asylum-seekers sent to D.C. under Abbott's despicable stunt
Escobar says Abbott's plan to get asylum-seekers out of Texas is more 'politics of hate and cruelty'