UPDATE (5 p.m.)
Commercial traffic at Los Indios International Bridge, located south of Harlingen and San Benito, is also being affected by the governor’s new inspection mandate, according to a social media post from the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office posted a video of what appears to be hundreds of trucks parked along the shoulder of a roadway, waiting to be inspected.
Sheriff’s deputies are working with Los Indios Police Department to manage traffic, the Facebook post said.
Check out the video provided by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office below:
PHARR — Despite the city’s efforts, traffic at the international bridge here remained at a standstill Tuesday afternoon following a dayslong protest from truckers in Reynosa who are upset with Gov. Greg Abbott’s new inspection mandate, which is keeping them and their goods grounded on the bridge for days.
“There is a current blockade on the Mexican side of this bi-national port of entry, impeding any inbound or outbound flow of traffic,” a news release from the city of Pharr said Tuesday. “Allowing any commercial vehicles to drive onto the southbound lanes of the Pharr International Bridge would create a gridlock and a safety hazard for drivers, since they currently do not have an outlet into Mexico.”
The showdown between the trucking industry and the governor’s new mandate, which he put in place last week to ostensibly curb the illegal flow of drugs and people, has led to millions of dollars in lost revenue, according to an industry insider who cited a recent survey of companies that are being affected.
And it’s eventually going to affect consumer prices at grocery stores across the state and possibly the nation.
Produce and meats are sitting in trucks that are running out of fuel on the bridge while they wait to be let into the U.S. — and ultimately through the new checkpoints the Texas Department of Public Safety is operating on Abbott’s orders.
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, sent a letter to Abbott on Tuesday urging him to rescind his recent order to expand Operation Lone Star. He said the order is creating 10- to 20-hour delays at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, “including the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge — the top point of entry for produce imports and a key artery for components and technology moving between the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere.”
“Governor Abbott should have a vested interest in ensuring Texas’ economy thrives,” Gonzalez said in a news release. “His recent actions have shown that is not the case. Increasing inspections will only exacerbate our supply chain crisis and raise prices for Texas families.”
He called the new measures a “political stunt at the detriment of (his) constituents.”
“If Governor Abbott is serious about finding solutions, then I invite him to work with my colleagues and me to find ways to safely, and humanely, protect our border,” Gonzalez said. Pharr is also hoping for a solution.
“The Pharr International Bridge looks forward to a quick resolution of this issue so that business operations can get back to normal and the commerce in our region can continue to thrive,” its news release said. Abbott has yet to comment on the issue.