Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced new border security measures in the wake of a deadly human smuggling incident in San Antonio earlier this week.
On June 29, Abbott announced plans to establish “new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks” after dozens of suspected migrants were found dead in a sweltering semi trailer on Monday.
“In response to the tragic deaths of dozens of migrants being smuggled inside a semi-truck earlier this week, the Governor also announced that DPS will be implementing new vehicle inspection checkpoints targeting semi-trucks beginning immediately,” Abbott’s office said in a news release.
It’s unclear where the new inspection checkpoints will be located. A spokesperson for Abbott’s office told The Texas Tribune that they won’t be at ports of entry, suggesting that they’ll instead be located further inland.
Additionally, Texas DPS says that they will deploy multiple strike teams consisting of 20 agents each to target human smuggling and cloned trucks.
Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw said during a Wednesday press conference, “We’re going to deploy strike teams of DPS special agents to conduct surveillance and look for these cloned vehicles, stolen vehicles that are staged along the highways used to smuggle people… and also identify stash houses, which is very important to disrupting Mexican cartel operations.”
“President Biden needs to focus on addressing the humanitarian crisis his reckless leadership has created at the border, instead of attacking the jobs of hardworking Texans and oil production in the Permian Basin,” said Abbott. “The Lone Star State will not sit idly by as the federal government chooses to ignore the historic number of illegal crossings, human smuggling, and drug trafficking of deadly fentanyl from Mexico into the United States. Our government has no greater responsibility than to provide public safety to its citizens. Until President Biden decides to uphold immigration laws passed by Congress, the State of Texas will continue utilizing every tool available to secure the border and keep Texans – and Americans – safe.”
In April 2022, Abbott ordered increased commercial vehicle inspections conducted by DPS in an effort to combat illegal immigration after the Biden Administration announced plans to revoke Trump-era Title 42 rules. The DPS inspections conducted in addition to U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspections created massive backups and delays at the border and were repealed days later following agreements with Mexican states bordering Texas to increase border security.