Mexican Trucks To The Rescue . . .

Cross Posted from Common Sense America


To Do Another Job Americans Won’t Do
Ok, now it’s personal.

Apparently, American truckers have now joined the-jobs-Americans-won’t-do-club and are going to be replaced by Mexican trucks and drivers who will be able to freely cross our borders within the next two months. Mexican truck drivers who, not surprisingly, are willing to work for less than a third of what American drivers now earn. The average Mexican truck driver now earns an average of about $40,000 a year compared to an American owner-operator who earns approximately $150,000 a year.

Since when is a six-figure income a job that Americans don’t want to do? It isn’t. How do I know that Americans are more than willing to do this job? I own a trucking company, so I asked each of my drivers why they didn’t want their jobs anymore and, after most of them picked their jaws up off of the floor, they assured me that trucking is their career, their life, and their livelihood.

But none of that seems to matter to this administration because last week the announcement was made that 100 Mexican trucking companies will be allowed to haul freight across our borders and operate freely in the United States. Currently, trucks from Mexico must stay within 20 miles of the Mexican border and then transfer their freight to an American truck – owned by an American company.

Not anymore.

But you can be sure that the loss of freight at the border for American truckers and American trucking companies won’t be the only backlash of the latest scheme of this erase-the-border-administration.

Judicial Watch reports:

Substandard trucks driven by low-paid, unqualified Mexican drivers that will threaten national security and endanger American motorists will travel freely throughout the United States under a new Bush Administration pilot project.

And OOIDA, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, reports:

After years of roadblocks that all but prevented Mexico-domiciled trucks from operating throughout the U.S., the border will be opening to 100 Mexican motor carriers in two short months.

One of the biggest sticking points keeping the border closed to Mexican-domiciled trucks has been who will inspect the trucks and where they will be inspected before they are allowed into the states.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced that U.S. officials would be inspecting the Mexican motor carriers in Mexico.

And though Ms. Peters assures us all that every truck crossing our border from Mexico will be inspected, OOIDA goes on to report:

Simple math indicates that the inspection rate of the entire available vehicle population is 3.9 percent. To put it another way, a Mexican truck has a 96.1 percent of not being inspected at any border crossing in the country.

“Outrageous is the best way to describe the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) nearly simultaneous announcements that all safety and security issues with Mexican motor carriers have been resolved, and that 100 of these trucking companies will now be given U.S. DOT’s blessing to operate throughout the United States,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.

But lack of inspection of the cargo is not the only problem American citizens will face:

Spencer said not only are U.S. regulations on Americans more stringent in terms of verifying that a driver has been tested, but U.S. licenses can also be verified to show driving history, violations and compliance of any vehicle driven going back even a decade or longer. When enforcement officials run a Mexican CDL (Commercial Drivers License), the only information he can access will be that of previous operation in the U.S., not Mexico where a driver might have a rap sheet as along as your arm.

So, how much of a stretch would it be to think that perhaps we could have vicious criminals driving eighteen wheelers freely across this nation? What about drug addicts or alcoholics behind the wheel of that big rig coming your way?

Mexico has never had specific drug testing regulations or hours-of-service rules for its drivers that could be verified or enforced and still doesn’t.

Or what about a driver that works for less pay and has to work more hours to afford fuel and truck maintenance – not to mention food on the table for his family? American drivers have regulations they must adhere to in regard to how many hours per day they may drive, but:

“There is simply no way anyone can know whether a truck driver coming from Mexico entering the U.S. has been awake two hours or two weeks when they clear the border,” he (Spencer) said. “And if the safety and security shortcomings still remaining at the border aren’t enough to set off alarm bells — once a truck from Mexico clears the border, enforcement of rules covering international shipments and authority are non-existent.”

As you can imagine, the Teamsters Union is not happy about this pilot program at all and reports;

“As with the Dubai Ports debacle, President Bush is willing to risk our national security by giving unfettered access to America’s transportation infrastructure to foreign companies and their government sponsors,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “They are playing of game of Russian Roulette on America’s highways. Mexico refuses to meet their end of the bargain yet President Bush rewards them with open access to American highways. It is the American driving public who will pay the consequences.”

The Teamsters Union has led efforts to keep the border closed for the past twelve years. Just two years ago, the Department of Transportation Inspector General found that the Mexican government and Mexican motor carriers did not meet congressionally mandated requirements. An Inspector General audit report is due in the next couple of months, raising serious questions as to why President Bush is pushing this experimental program ahead of that report.

“Where is the Inspector’s General report that tells us that Mexico is meeting U.S. standards?” Hoffa asked. “Why is the President willing to move forward when his own Inspector General has stated that Mexico cannot meet its obligations?”

Why, indeed. But we all know the answer to that one, don’t we? Maybe it has a little something to do with open borders?

The Teamsters website goes on to report:

The plan raises several serious concerns, including:

  • The impact on homeland security initiatives. Will the drivers be checked against the terror watch list or will our borders be open to anyone with a Mexican driver’s license? Will the drivers be required to carry a Mexican passport as U.S. citizens are required to present their passports when entering the country from Mexico or Canada?
  • The DOT has been disingenuous about this pilot program, indicating only a few weeks ago that it was not pursuing this pilot program. What else are they lying about?
  • Enforcement of hours of service in Mexico, false log books and fatigued drivers entering the U.S.
  • The application of U.S. standards to Mexican drivers including the requirement that U.S. drivers have a Commercial Drivers License, undergo regular physicals and meet minimum age requirements.
  • The integrity of drug and alcohol testing. Though testing will be done in U.S. labs, it is unclear who will oversee the collection of random samples creating a system ripe for abuse.
  • Enforcement of U.S. wage and hour laws.DOT’s assertion that all trucks will be inspected by U.S. officials in Mexico and at the U.S. border when less than ten percent of all Mexican trucks entering the commercial zone are inspected now.“The DOT has indicated that ‘this is as narrow experiment’ as they could initiate. Yet it is an experiment that allows 100 companies and an unknown number of Mexican trucks onto our highways and forces the U.S. traveling public to serve as guinea pigs,” Hoffa said. “That is unacceptable. I call on Congress to hold hearings immediately and to put an end to this nonsense.”
  • “Guinea pigs.” Isn’t that what we all are in this experiment of globalization and the new North American Union? This administration and the rest of our Congressional cretins don’t care two wits about the safety of Americans. Every single day, Americans die at the hands of illegal aliens. Every single day American jobs are lost to illegal aliens. And now, one more industry is being handed to Mexico on a silver platter, to the detriment of the American worker.

    It doesn’t matter to the corporations, or to our elected officials, that this will hurt the American citizen. It doesn’t matter that the safety of our roads and the jobs that Americans value are in jeopardy.

    What matters is money and agendas.

    And since Mexican truckers will work for less than a third of the price that American truckers can survive on – this replacement force is a grand bargain for corporate America. How lovely for these corporations and their little hand puppet, George Bush, who envisions one big happy continent run by the corporate elites.

    Just a quick note: The word is out and the talk on CB radios across the nation is that American truckers should all plan a much-needed vacation if this pilot program goes into effect. Many owner operators and driver employees cannot go on strike because it is in violation of their contracts BUT there is nothing in their contracts that says millions of American truck drivers can’t take a few weeks off work. Can you say “blue flu” boys and girls – or maybe, The Great American Red, White, and Blue Flu???

    For more CAII posts, see:More on the Nashville Muslim Cabbie from Bear Creek Ledger

    “Catch the Illegal Immigrant” – NY Times – A Game with Whiners from DeMediacratic Nation

    **This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.

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