To Secure The Border, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Should Shut It Down

To Secure The Border, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Should Shut It Down by JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON for The Federalist

The Biden administration will not enforce immigration laws or secure the border. But states like Texas have the power to act on their own.

Amid the churn of recent headlines about inflation and the war in Ukraine, you might have missed what’s happening right now on the southwest border — not the ongoing border crisis, but something very much related to it. For the past few days, commercial traffic between the United States and Mexico has ground to a halt.

On Monday, Mexican truckers blocked north and southbound lanes on the Mexico side of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in Pharr, Texas. They did it to protest Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision last week to order state troopers to inspect all northbound commercial trucks, something usually done by federal authorities. The state inspections immediately caused massive delays at ports of entry all along the border, triggering a second protest by truckers waiting to cross into El Paso on Monday afternoon, with trucks blocking both northbound and southbound lanes in Juarez.

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This is no small thing. The volume of international traffic in question is massive. At the port of entry in Laredo, Texas, about 20,000 commercial trucks cross the border every day. Hundreds of billions of dollars in trade flow over the Texas-Mexico border every year. The entire system is a well-oiled machine. Throwing a wrench into it, even a minor one, could create a different sort of crisis at the border. But it might be worth it.

The backstory here is that Abbott issued those inspection orders last week in response to the Biden administration’s plans to cancel Title 42, the public health order invoked by then-President Trump at the onset of the pandemic. For the past two years, Title 42 has enabled federal authorities to expel illegal immigrants quickly amid an historic surge in illegal immigration. It’s not too much to say that Title 42 is the last remaining tool the federal government has to control record-high levels of illegal immigration.

Every other policy the Trump administration implemented to secure the border has been rescinded or neutered by Biden, and on May 23, Title 42 will be gone too. As my colleague Jordan Boyd has explained in some detail, the border will then be effectively open to almost anyone. Instead of arresting 150,000 or 200,000 illegal immigrants a month, federal authorities will be dealing with a half-million migrants or more each month, possibly as many as 18,000 a day.

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