United States Citizen Protection
To: US Congress and Senate
The undersigned, comprised of active members of the trucking industry and other interested parties, have concerns in regard to changes in policy that the United States Government may make in the near future.
An unfulfilled provision of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allows trucking companies based in Mexico to transport freight throughout the United States. Likewise, trucking companies based in the United States would be granted permission to transport freight into Mexico.
Other legislation being considered is a "guest worker" program, which will allow the importing of citizens of Mexico and South America for the purpose of filling open driving positions within the trucking industry. This proposal has been lobbied for by several large motor carriers based within the United States. The proposed legislation has been supported by some trucking companies as necessary to fill �jobs that Americans don�t want�, and/or due to alleged shortages of skilled drivers.
We are respectfully requesting that you, as members of the duly elected Government, consider carefully the impact that either of these proposals will have upon the citizens of the United States of America.
Our specific concerns in regard to the NAFTA proposal of opening the borders;
We are concerned that the steady decline of deaths and injuries that the trucking industry could reverse it�s course and begin to increase, if the borders are opened to Mexican carriers. This concern is based on the fact that training, safety, and enforcement standards are far different between the two countries.
We are concerned that no actual exchange in access will actually occur between our two nations. It would instead, essentially be a one-sided venture. There is little interest in U.S. based carriers crossing the Mexican border and moving goods in and out of Mexico. The safety and security of each and every American driver would be in peril while they are in Mexico. U.S. based carriers are keenly aware that theft or hijacking of cargo and equipment is an ever-present reality. However, there is immense interest by some Mexican carriers, who would benefit greatly from access to our nation's freight base. In addition to the economic advantages that this would represent to those companies, the dangers U.S. drivers face in Mexico would not likely be encountered by Mexican drivers while in the United States.
We are concerned that Cabatoge rules will not be honored. These rules require that trucks from Mexico, which have delivered in the United States, to reload with freight destined for points within Mexico, or return to Mexico empty. No accurate system is in place which can assure that carriers from other countries operating in the United States are in compliance with Cabatoge rules at all times.
We are concerned that wages of Americans employed within the trucking industry will further erode, having already been in a downward slide for more than a decade. This is simply because drivers from Mexico are not paid a comparable wage to that of Americans.
We are concerned that Mexican drivers will not speak or read English with enough proficiency to safely navigate our roadways, thus an obstacle in being aware at all times, the rules and regulations that drivers of commercial vehicles are required to follow while traveling through the states. Having a working knowledge of English is a regulation that American truck drivers must be in compliance with at all times.
We are concerned that access to our nation by Mexican trucking companies will give reason for further elimination of manufacturing jobs that Americans hold today. The prospect of direct transportation of goods utilizing foreign trucks, whose drivers earn sub-standard rates, will make moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico attractive to those industries, leading to more empty factories and higher unemployment rates in the U.S.
We are concerned about the potential increase in illegal drug trafficking, illegal immigrant smuggling, as well as the substantial risks for our roads to become a venue of entry for those with the intent of harming Americans through acts of terrorism. There are no realistic means in place in which to screen every truck that crosses the border, or to monitor the whereabouts of any or all of the trucks once inside the United States.]
Our specific concerns in regard to the guest worker programs under consideration for the trucking industry;
We are concerned that any change in policy that will allow U.S based motor carriers to begin importing �guest workers� will create an additional method for people to enter the United States under legal pretenses, but the reality is that they would likely default to illegal status if the job does not meet their expectations, and then remain here undetected.
We are concerned with the prospect that those seeking to work and live in the United States on a temporary basis will in effect, if not in reality, become economic slaves to companies that have a difficult time keeping workers on staff due to their refusal to offer reasonable working conditions to U.S. drivers. Furthermore, if these U.S. companies would improve working conditions, attracting American drivers would not be a problem. The "perceived" shortage of qualified drivers is not a problem for those companies that offer reasonable working conditions and competitive wages. The driver turnover rates at the better companies are a fraction of the rates at carriers who do not accommodate basic driver needs.
We are concerned with the prospect that companies who sponsor foreign workers could imply, or actually threaten deportation of a worker who would wish to voluntarily terminate an undesirable job. Companies may threaten involuntary discharge and deportation of "guest workers" do not comply with unreasonable demands. The U.S. Government should not endorse, or create through policies, a system that will allow businesses to have such power over employees, regardless of their country of origin. To do so would enable businesses that offer sub-standard jobs at sub-standard compensation to thrive, when they should otherwise be driven from the ranks of the industry by attrition and the competitive forces of our free market system.
The United States Citizen Protection Petition to US Congress and Senate was created by Members of the Trucker's Report Forums and written by Anthony Provancher (firstname.lastname@example.org). This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors. For technical support please use our simple Petition Help form.
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