The decision of the Bush administration to allow Mexican trucks to operate within the United States is the greatest disaster for American workers since NAFTA. It will mean the loss of tens of thousands of American trucking jobs.
The record of the Clinton and Bush administrations is clear: to replace as many high, living wage American workers with foreign workers as possible. This is done by moving factory jobs abroad to China, by allowing massive immigration, by giving H-1B visas to foreigners with computer skills. The United States has lost over five million manufacturing jobs since Bush has been in office. There are twenty million illegals taking jobs that Americans do want, but at a living wage. And there are over two million computer programmers from India doing high paid jobs that Americans do want.
The Bush administration wants to drive corporate profits up and American wages down. The war on the middle class is still on. It is as simple as that.
First, the Mexican truckers will drive loads of manufactured goods (made by Mexican workers, whose jobs came after NAFTA) to a destination in the United States. But truckers know that trucks do not like to drive empty, so the Mexican trucker will pick up a load going back.
Second, nothing restricts the Mexican trucker coming back empty from picking up a load and delivering it to another destination in the United States. So, a Mexican may take goods from Mexico to New York, but then take a load from New York to Chicago and from Chicago to Los Angeles. There are no prohibitions against this and even if there were, who would enforce them. The Clinton and Bush administrations have not enforced laws against the employment of illegals, so why does anyone think they are going to enforce any laws against Mexican truckers.
Further, why does the Mexican trucker have to return to Mexico at all? With an infrastructure, the ability to buy fuel, why won’t a Mexican trucker stay in the United States for weeks or months at a time?
Third, occasional loads picked up by a Mexican trucker will develop the need for freight brokers. Spanish speaking networks will develop and begin to schedule pick-ups and delivery. The Mexicans have a massive smuggling ring in the United States. When illegals cross the border, they know exactly where they are going and a complete smuggling operation to transport, house and feed them. Is there any reason why Mexican truckers will not set up the same type of operation?
Every single independent trucker will be lowering his rates and see his income drop. Every single independent trucker will face bankruptcy. Mexican trucks will be operating with full insurance and be free of all restrictions on operations. Thousands of rigs will be repossessed from their owners to lack of payments and the truckers will be on the welfare line.
American truckers must realize that the Mexican truckers are direct, open threats to their jobs, their wages and their families.
Are truckers going to let that happen? No Way, Jorge.
Paul Streitz, Co-director
CT Citizens for Immigration Reform
Mr. Streitz is author of Oxford: Son of Queen Elizabeth I, The Great American College Tuition Rip-off and America First, Why Americans Must End Free Trade, Stop Outsourcing and Close Our Open Borders.