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Texas agriculture commissioner says Gov. Abbott’s ‘misguided’ truck inspections won’t fix border problems

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s enhanced inspection of trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico in anticipation of a surge of illegal immigrants has prompted pushback from both the White House and a prominent Republican elected official in his state.

“This misguided policy will have little or no impact on the invasion on our southern border caused by the inaction of the Biden Administration,” Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller wrote to Abbott on Tuesday. “Instead, this policy will hurt Texas and American consumers by driving up already skyrocketing food prices, worsening ongoing supply chain disruptions, causing massive produce shortages, and saddling Texas and American companies with untold losses.”

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Last week, Abbott directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to carry out “enhanced safety inspections” of vehicles that pass through ports of entry, citing “cartels that smuggle illicit contraband and people across our southern border.” Abbott is anticipating an uptick in smuggling when the Biden administration ceases expelling migrants via the Title 42 public health order.

Miller explained in his letter that he believes Abbott’s policy will force Texans to pay two dollars for a lime and five dollars for an avocado while also causing produce shelves to become empty.  

Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller exits after meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump's staff December 30, 2016

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“Your inspection protocol is not stopping illegal immigration,” Miller said to Abbott. “It is stopping food from getting to grocery store shelves and in many cases causing food to rot in trucks – many of which are owned by Texas and other American companies. It is simply political theater. The people of Texas deserve better!”

Miller added that “this inspection program is turning a crisis into a catastrophe.”

In a press release, Miller suggested that Abbott “should instead lead the way by urging other states to join Attorney General Paxton’s lawsuit to preserve Title 42.”

Abbott’s immigration directive also sparked a sharp rebuttal from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday as she blamed him for the rise of the price of certain goods.

“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.,” Psaki said.

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News. 

During a Wednesday press conference, Abbott shot down Miller’s criticism of his inspection policy when asked by a reporter about the inspections at the border.

“One thing is clear, and that is that he had no clue what we were doing, the negotiations that we had ongoing with regard to officials in Mexico,” Abbott said. “So he was just completely uninformed.”

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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