(CNN)Commercial traffic at Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge — a major port of entry for the US-Mexico border that handles both commercial and passenger vehicles — is “halted temporarily” due to an ongoing protest on the Mexican side of the border and there are “no southbound movements by US carriers,” a US Customs and Border Protection official confirmed to CNN Monday.
Reynosa Mayor Carlos Peña Ortiz declined to comment on the matter.
Last week, Abbott’s office announced several actions in response to President Joe Biden’s plans to lift Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic policy that effectively prevented migrants from seeking asylum in the US, at the end of May.
The strategies, according to a statement by Abbott’s office, are meant to “curtail the flow of drugs, human traffickers, illegal immigrants, weapons and other contraband into Texas” and include “enhanced safety inspections” of commercial vehicles entering the US by ports of entry in TX.
DPS did not respond when asked by CNN if any commercial drivers have been charged with human smuggling or drug-related offenses but shared that as of Sunday, they inspected 2,685 commercial vehicles at select ports of entry along the Texas-Mexico border and placed 646 of them out of service for “serious safety violations” which include defective brakes, tires, and lighting.
The border inspections by Texas are seen as redundant by at least two major trade groups that say the new policy is already wreaking havoc on the border.
“Adding an additional Texas DPS inspection once trucks have crossed the border is causing serious delays with no commensurate increase in border safety,” Lance Jungmeyer, Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, wrote to Abbott Saturday.
“Over $9 billion dollars worth of produce is traded through Texas,” he wrote, adding the newly announced border inspection policy has “severely impacted trade” throughout the state.
On Sunday, the president of the Border Trade Alliance — a non-profit organization that represents a network of over 4.2 million public and private sector representatives impacted by US, Mexico and Canadian trade relations — issued a statement that warned Abbott’s policy could drive up consumer prices.
“We oppose any state-level action that results in an inspection process that duplicates the inspections already performed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” Britton Mullen said in her statement.
“While border states like Texas have an important role to play in ensuring truck safety and code compliance, the state should be working in collaboration with CBP, not engaging in a new inspection scheme that will slow the movement of freight, which will only exacerbate the country’s supply chain crisis and put even more upward pressure on consumer prices.”
CNN has reached out to Abbott’s office for their response to the criticism of their new policy and the bottleneck created at the border.