Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced new measures the state would take in response to the influx of illegal aliens crossing the state’s southern border. That included a call for “enhanced safety inspections of vehicles” by Department of Public Safety officers at ports of entry in an effort to crack down on cartel-facilitated smuggling.

The border slow-down has received criticism from the left and the right this week, after several major border crossings were bogged down by the inspections for hours.

On Wednesday, the governor was in Laredo to sign a border security agreement with Samuel Alejandro Garcia Sepulveda, the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Gov. Garcia, as it happens, is intimately connected with the notorious Gulf Cartel.

As for the traffic slow-down, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said the action amounted to “political theater” and an “economy killing action” that would worsen the soaring scarcity of produce. (Abbott later blasted Miller for being “completely uninformed.”)

Others noted similarities between Abbott’s plan and that of one of his former Republican challengers, Don Huffines, whose border plan called for closing ports of entry entirely until Mexico met certain demands to secure the border.

While the Texas-Nuevo Leon border is only about nine miles long, it contains the Laredo-Columbia crossing, one of the busiest commercial ports of entry along the entire Mexican border.

Abbott and Garcia announced an agreement to immediately end the heightened inspections on the Texas side of the border, in exchange for a “memorandum of understanding” that Nuevo Leon would use its own resources to more thoroughly inspect vehicles and monitor the border.

Garcia’s family history, however, raises questions as to how serious the efforts will be. The governor is also the nephew of former Gulf Cartel boss Gilberto “El June” Garcia Mena. But his family connections don’t end there.

According to a report from Breitbart shortly after his election last year:

U.S. law enforcement sources operating in Mexico shared documents with Breitbart Texas that revealed that even before the arrest of El June, Garcia’s father was identified by police as a frontman for the multiple businesses owned by the drug lord. The documents also reveal that after the arrest, the politician’s father kept accounts, properties, and businesses that in fact belonged to El June and his family.

After announcing his deal with Garcia, Abbott called on the governors of the other three Mexican states that border Texas—Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas—to also agree to better patrol their own borders in order to also have the inspections lifted.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens