July 8, 2011

Cross-Border Trucking Agreement Threatens American Security and American Jobs, Charges FAIR

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obama administration's decision to sign an agreement allowing Mexican truckers full access to U.S. roads poses a threat to national security, American motorists, our ability to control illegal immigration, and to the viability of the U.S. trucking industry, charges the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The agreement was signed in Mexico City on Wednesday by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood without notice from the administration.

"Implementation of this provision of NAFTA has been on hold for 17 years with good reason," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Since President Clinton signed the treaty in 1994, the reasons for not allowing Mexican truckers free access to our highways have only compounded. Violent criminal cartels which smuggle humans, narcotics and other contraband across the border now operate brazenly throughout Mexico, often with the complicity of corrupt police. We will not have the capability to inspect more than a tiny fraction of the trucks that will be crossing our border, headed to virtually every city and town across America. There is also legitimate concern that international terrorists and criminal organizations will take advantage of this agreement with deadly consequences.

"In addition to the dangers the agreement poses to American security, it is also a potentially mortal blow to our trucking industry and the people who earn their livings transporting goods across the country," added Stein. "These are good jobs that afford thousands of American workers the opportunity to earn a decent wage for an honest day's labor."

While the pact ostensibly guarantees American truckers full access to Mexican roads, the raging violence in Mexico effectively makes this a one-way agreement. The Department of State has already issued advisories warning Americans to avoid travel to numerous Mexican states.

"At every level, the deal signed by Secretary LaHood is dangerous and reckless," Stein charged. "In spite of assurances, the resources do not exist to adequately inspect the cargo that Mexican trucks will bring across the border, or even the road-worthiness of the trucks that will be sharing our highways with American drivers."

FAIR is also concerned that the agreement will aid smugglers transporting illegal aliens to destinations around the United States. "Whether it is moving illegal aliens right through busy ports of entry, or picking up illegal aliens already in the U.S. to be transported to destinations around the country, free access to American roads is guaranteed to be a boon to the criminals who smuggle human beings," Stein warned.

FAIR joins with others, including the Teamsters union, in calling on Congress to intervene to prevent the implementation of the cross-border trucking agreement. According to Teamster president Jim Hoffa, the Department of Transportation acted without authority from Congress in signing a deal that requires U.S. taxpayers to monitor the safety and activities of Mexican truckers. "Unfortunately, ignoring public safety, the interests of American workers, and laws enacted by Congress are standard operating procedure for this administration. Once again, American security and American jobs are being sacrificed to a political agenda," Stein concluded.

About FAIR

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced. Visit FAIR's website at www.fairus.org.