© Reuters. Trucks wait in line to enter the United States, after the US Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced increased security at international ports of entry to Texas, at the Zaragoza-Ysleta border crossing in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in April. 9, 2022. REUTERS / Jose Luis Gonzalez
By Jose Luis Gonzalez
CIUDAD JUAREZ (Reuters) – Hundreds of commercial trucks lined up for hours on Saturday to cross the border from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez to El Paso after Texas Governor Gregg Abbott ordered troops The state has stepped up testing of vehicles in the north.
“I’ve been here since 3pm yesterday, I still can’t cross,” Mexican truck driver José Alberto Marin said as he waited to arrive at the port of entry.
“Who knows how much longer it will take,” he added, adding that he was shipping a bound amount of lights to the United States.
Border crossings of commerce between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso have slowed after Abbott directed the Department of Public Safety to begin conducting “enhanced safety checks” on vehicles at international ports of entry into Texas .
Abbott’s order cites “the gangs transporting illegal contraband and those crossing our southern border” as the reason for the stepped-up measures.
Manuel Sotelo, vice president for the northern region of Mexico’s national freighter, said the long wait times could be a “disaster” for the region’s import-export and shipping industries.
Due to the slowdown, about 1,000 commercial trucks were able to cross the busiest bridge into El Paso on Friday, down from the daily average of 2,000, he said.
Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ciudad Juarez is home to hundreds of factories, some owned by American or international companies, that manufacture everything from auto parts to electrical and medical equipment, with many products being exported.