Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's commercial vehicle inspection policy is starting to have an impact on the supply chain in North Texas. The policy has led to long lines and delays at the Texas-Mexico Border.
Gov. Abbott is now easing restrictions at one crossing along the roughly 9-mile border the Mexican state of Nuevo León shares with Texas after the governor of that state agreed to increase security to slow undocumented migrants from crossing the border.
"Since Nuevo León has increased its security on its side of the border the Texas Department of Public Safety can return to its previous practice of random searches of vehicles," Abbott said Wednesday.
Abbott said the DPS will continue mandatory inspections of all commercial vehicle traffic entering the state at the state's other international crossings until he has similar assurances of security from the governors of those Mexican states.
At Abbott's direction, every commercial truck coming into Texas from Mexico is getting an even closer inspection, ensuring no undocumented migrants or drugs are on board.
"Until however those agreements are reached with those states the Texas Department of Public Safety will continue to thoroughly inspect vehicles entering into the United States from every Mexican state except Nuevo León," Abbott said.
The effects of the governor's policy are being felt by truck drivers forced to wait on the enhanced inspections. Todd Oliver, a local truck driver, said the backups at the border are affecting local inventory.
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"It's been slow," said Oliver. "But we try to make do with what we got. Fruits and vegetables come in when we got it. Some days it's shorter than others."
At Nogales Produce south of Interstate 30 in Dallas, employees are restocking as best they can.
"We depend highly on Mexico, the crossing at the border," said Rafael Munoz, an employee at Nogales.
Knowing their biggest produce provider is locked in a battle at the border. A policy that's leaving grocers and distribution centers in a lurch.
"Papayas, avocados, jalapenos, tomatoes anything and everything that comes south of the border is being delayed," said Munoz.
Fewer products mean higher prices.
Some orders are being limited. Carlos Terrazas sells corn in a cup and came to buy 10 boxes of spoons but walked away with just two boxes because of delayed shipments.
"Customers ask for 100 they get 50. Anybody asking for 20 gets 10," said Munoz.
Although his work has slowed a bit, Oliver said he supported Abbott's move.
"As a truck driver you have to be patient because that is part of their job, the government's job, to make sure everything is up to par," said Oliver.
The Texas Department of Public Safety announced that out of 3,400 commercial vehicle inspections at the border, 800 trucks were taken out of service because of violations related to their brakes or tires. DPS made no mention as to whether migrants or drugs were turned up in those inspections.