Texas Ag Commissioner concerned by Abbott’s ‘strong-arm’ strategy along border, braces for troubled international relations

1 year 11 months 3 weeks ago Friday, April 15 2022 Apr 15, 2022 April 15, 2022 11:17 AM April 15, 2022 in News - Local

While he hopes Greg Abbott can be reelected state governor compared to Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller isn’t letting up that he believes the governor’s actions to stall international traffic at Texas-Mexico was a misguided decision.

“I support this governor — I want him to get reelected,” Miller said in a Zoom call with Channel 5 News. “(But) I think this is hurting him in South Texas. We need to get this fixed and get back to doing business as usual in Texas and securing our border.”

Miller is running for a third term as Ag Commissioner and won the Republican primary in March. 

On Tuesday, he sent a letter to Abbott, urging the governor to rescind his directive that called for the inspection of all commercial vehicles entering Texas from Mexico. Miller pushed that Abbott should instead move to defend  Title 42 in federal court.

As Abbott signed a “historic” agreement with Nuevo León’s governor in Laredo on Wednesday, a reporter asked the governor about Miller’s statement. Abbott responded by saying that Miller “had no clue what we were doing about the negotiations” with Mexican officials, adding that the commissioner was “just completely uninformed."

Miller partially agrees.

“I am uninformed when it comes to what he’s doing — I can’t get a dialogue with him,” Miller said. “On the other hand, I’m highly informed by all the citizens and everybody who’s negatively affected by this policy.

“I just wanted to contribute and help him fix this problem — that’s it. I’ve reached out, sent him a letter, offered my help, get involved in what I can — have not heard back from the man, but that’s usual, you know, the way it goes.”

While Abbott is now getting more Mexican governors along the Texas-Mexico border to sign off on a Memorandum of Understanding that will task Mexican officials to perform their own “enhanced” border enforcement measures, Miller said Abbott’s method has greatly affected the state’s international trust with Mexico.

“It’s not the way that I would have governed,” Miller said. “I would have never tried to strong-arm our neighbors to the south.

“It’s gonna take a while to go back and build that trust. I think I still have it with my relationships — it’s still there — so I’m lending that support to the governor if he needs me to go in, try to smooth things over — back to some normalcy — I’m willing to do that, but the trust with this government doing this — that’s been damaged.”

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