Following the horror of a human-smuggling attempt that left 53 people dead, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state troopers to inspect more trucks — again expanding a border security mission that has cost billions, given the National Guard arrest powers and bused migrants to Washington, D.C.
What Abbott’s get-tough plans haven’t done in the year since he began rolling them out is curb the number of people crossing the border.
Along the border in Texas, where officials say Monday’s fatal tractor-trailer journey began, U.S. authorities stopped migrants from crossing illegally 523,000 times between January and May, up from 417,000 over the same span a year ago. It reflects how, across the nation’s entire southern border, crossings are at or near the highest in about two decades.
The deadliest smuggling attempt in U.S. history illustrated the limitations of Abbott’s massive border apparatus as the two-term governor, who is up for reelection in November, points the finger at President Joe Biden. Immigration advocates have disagreed with Abbott’s criticism and said Biden is focused on enforcement.
“Texas is going to take action to do our part to try to reduce the illegal immigration coming into our country,” Abbott said Wednesday while on the border in the town of Eagle Pass.
He said that state troopers would begin inspecting more tractor-trailers in wake of the tragedy. He did not provide details about the extent or location of the inspections. But unlike an inspection effort three months ago that gridlocked the state’s 1,200-mile (1,930-kilometer) border for a week,…