NAFTA Truck "Safety"
JBS.org | March 12, 2007
Christopher S. Bentley
In accordance with the Bush administration's agenda to create a free flow of goods and people among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico under NAFTA — on the road toward a full North American Union — the federal government is pushing forward with a pilot program that will allow Mexican truckers to have access to all American highways.
The American media have managed to frame the debate over this revolutionary change around the issue of truck safety. One headline blared "Mexican trucking plan raises concerns in Congress: Senators wonder about safety when access is granted to U.S. roadways," while another trumpeted "Mexican trucks to hit U.S. highways: Critics say safety risk unacceptable."
KFOX in El Paso, Texas, under the headline " Mexican Trucks May Soon Be On Their Way ," reported:
The plan comes with concerns. Some American truck drivers KFOX spoke with worried about safety.
"They cannot read the signs and they don't even really know how to drive a rig out there. I've seen them with those trucks breaking down, they cut in front of you, they don't even use a signal," said David Melendez, 12 year truck driving veteran....
Then, with a straight face, the Fox News affiliate told its readers: "No one KFOX spoke with on the subject said they had any worries about U.S. security or trafficking illegal immigrants."
Granted, for industry veterans there are legitimate and real concerns about safety, considering that just about all Mexican truckers are overworked, way underpaid, and rely on illicit drugs to stay awake in order to drive Herculean distances . But considering Mexican truckers' biggest problems are being robbed by their own police , one can hardly blame them for wanting to escape (albeit briefly) to comparatively safe roads and away from the grasp of the narco-kleptocracy that is the Mexican government.
Meanwhile, as the major media continue to avoid reporting anything substantive regarding this issue, The Trucker , an online news site, gave a report in which Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, is quoted as saying that "the pilot plan is ignoring homeland security concerns." Testifying before the Senate, he stated: "It is simply abhorrent to think that our government would allow Mexican trucks full access to U.S. highways before all safety, economic and homeland security concerns are completely and appropriately addressed."
To show where our government's priorities are, Spencer added that the Department of Transportation is "bending over backwards to accommodate Mexican motor carriers," but "on matters that would significantly help hundreds of thousands of American truckers and advance safety on our nation's highways, we often hear from DOT officials that the department has limited resources and staff."
Why the rush to tear open further America's border, and give unfettered access to foreign truckers? "Transportation Secretary Mary Peters," reported the Austin-American Statesman , "said the project, which begins in May, would make safety its first priority and eliminate the 'very costly, very cumbersome, very outdated system' of moving freight across the border with Mexico."
So there we have it. Why should our government let little things like security and national independence get the way of reducing cost and increasing convenience?
The next time you contact your congressman, here are a few unpleasant questions to raise as your representative attempts to console you that Congress is on top of things to make sure that Mexican trucks will be safe when driving on U.S. roads:
• Given the number of illegal immigrants being smuggled into the United States now , what will happen when thousands of trucks are coming back and forth into the U.S. daily? What will happen to our already chronic problem with illegal immigration once the border opens up further?
• Since our own government seldom bothers to do anything about crimes committed by illegal aliens , what will happen when a Mexican trucker commits a crime on U.S. soil, and flees straight back to Mexico? What recourse will American citizens have, given Mexico's unwillingness to extradite violent felons to the U.S. ?
• What will happen in our communities with the increased flow of drugs, and as the violence fomented from the ultra-violent cartels slops over into our own backyards?
• As the war in the Middle East likely spreads, what effective means will there be to prevent terrorists and their WMDs from being smuggled straight across our border on wide open U.S. freeways ?
Yes, safety is a concern — but it should be the safety of the American people, and our nation's independence.