US TRUCKERS CIRCLE THE WAGONS
Grassroots activists are joining truckers who want U.S. sovereignty protected
By Mark Anderson
The National Grassroots Demonstration (NGD) against the Mexican truck invasion is continuing, as concerned labor union members, truckers, farmers and other citizens visit, call and fax U.S. congressmen and senators to try to
overcome the powerful financial interests who seek the importation of cheap labor in ever-greater quantities, including Mexican truckers.
Such truckers, whose driving records are not as transparent as the records of American truckers, constitute a double-whammy against the U.S. economy. They combine the importation of cheap labor (the driver) and foreign-made merchandise (his cargo) in one shot. Not to mention lingering questions on whether the drivers’ rigs are safe and whether their personal backgrounds and habits comport with safe operation of heavy trucks.
While this month’s NGD, on April 23 and 24, called on Americans to contact their elected representatives heavily those two days, the idea is for concerned Americans to initiate or continue such communication for at least a few weeks beyond those dates into May, in a determined effort to stall or thwart the Mexican truck onslaught.
However, the NGD—which took place most recently in March, calling attention to the Mexican truck issue then as well as now—is being supplemented by a nationwide protest by truckers, taking place April 23-25. As American Free Press went to press, American truckers, incensed over the proposal to allow Mexican truckers to enter the U.S., planned to drive their rigs around most or all state capitols and in Washington D.C., according to Mark Dankof, who hosts “Mark Dankof’s America,” a radio talk show on the Republic Broadcasting Network.
Those involved in this “Circle-the-Wagons Blockade Against Anarchy,” as explained on a number of web sites, proclaim that allowing Mexican-domiciled trucks into the United States creates a host of serious problems.
Concerned American truckers say many Mexican truckers likely will not have collision or liability insurance, while driving unsafe trucks with bald tires and other substandard, unsafe equipment. American truckers also say that some Mexican truckers drive drunk and should be subjected to criminal background checks, and that they should be required to abide by weight and load restrictions.
A major concern is that American motorists and their passengers will be endangered. Furthermore, American trucking companies, large and small, could lose a considerable amount of work to cheap labor.
Abner Deatherage, the retired U.S. agricultural foreign service worker who helped organize the NGD, told AFP last month that hearings started March 8 on Capitol Hill, spearheaded by Transportation Subcommittee Chair Sen.
Patty Murray, to examine the Bush administration-backed plan to allow 100 Mexican-domiciled motor carriers to make deliveries and pick ups anywhere throughout the United States. This has weakened a previous measure that limited carriers to the narrow commercial zone near
the U.S.-Mexican border, where the procedure always has been to allow Mexican truckers to enter the nation only a short distance and transfer their freight to U.S. truckers.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced Feb. 22, 2007, that U.S. officials would inspect Mexican motor carriers in Mexico. A significant issue representing a “keep out” sign to Mexican truckers has been who will inspect the trucks and where they will be inspected before they’re allowed to enter the United States. The initial timetable for allowing Mexican trucks free and full access to the nation’s highways and byways was about two months, starting in late February. But that timetable may have been too optimistic.
Sen. Murray’s subcommittee, which operates under the umbrella of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is pursuing legislative measures, trying to force federal transportation officials to take a harder look at the Mexican
trucker issue, which could buy time for those opposed to allowing these truckers into the United States full-bore.
Deatherage believes the response to last month’s NGD on March 12 and March 13 was considerable. He stressed that those wanting to participate should contact the district offices of their federal representatives before, or instead of, contacting their Washington, D.C., offices. The NGD includes other ongoing issues, such as a proposed trade policy, called “absolute advantage,” that is seen as a way to “force Mexico and other Third World underdeveloped countries to develop their economies and substantially improve the general living conditions of their citizens.”
This is seen as another way to combat the illegal alien influx by making Mexico a better place to live and work, so there’s less incentive to illegally enter the United States in the first place. For now, a growing number of Minutemen border-monitoring groups, including a new one in south Texas, are watching the border and reporting illegal crossings to the Border Patrol.
TO GET INVOLVED . . .
Several contact options exist. Call (800) 450-8293, or 202-224-3121, to reach Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and ask for the office of any senator or representative by name. From there, you can voice your opinion at the D.C. office(s) of your choice and/or ask for the phone and fax numbers of these elected officials’ local offices. Also, those with Internet access can go to house.gov and senate. gov to get contact information.
After the letters “.gov” put a slash and the last name of the senator or representative whose web site you want to visit. For example, Rep. Ron Paul’s site is house.gov/paul. The same applies for the other 434 House members and 100 senators. Another option is to call Midwest Concerned Citizens at (785) 838-9708 (leave a message with Jason if no answer) or go to midwestconcernedcitizens.org and click on “public demonstrations” to find out more about getting involved in the NGD.
This web site includes a map of the planned NAFTA superhighway/supertollway system, including the Trans Texas Corridor, on which many Mexican truckers would enter the United States if the TTC, now in its early stages and backed by the Bush administration, isn’t stopped.
American Free Press reporter Mark Anderson can be reached via email at email@example.com Watch future AFP issues for more on America’s welcome acceptance of biofuels and other energy alternatives, helping end our gluttonous addiction to foreign petroleum.
(Issue #17 & 18, April 23 & 30, 2007)