Monday, November 07, 2011

Truckin'

We know that making fun of the anti-immigrant nativists is like dynamiting fish in a barrel, but every now and then they stray from the bread-and-butter issue of immigration and manage to reveal the empty racism at the heart of their agenda. This time, it centers on the unlikely issue of trucking, and the admission of Mexican long-haul trucks into the United States.
On Oct. 21, a Mexican truck carrying a load of construction equipment from Mexico to Texas was the first truck allowed on U.S. interior highways since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) authorized it almost two decades ago. It took that long because labor and political interests delayed the program.

...Mexican truckers probably will be paid less than U.S. truckers, but NAFTA requires that Mexican truckers are certified, along with their companies. There is also currently a shortage of U.S. truck drivers.

...The Department of Transportation says every Mexican truck is already held to the same safety and pollution standards as U.S. trucks. Mexican trucks have their brakes tested by a Federal Highway Administration inspector at a Nogales facility built in 2004.
It's been a long, complicated fight, with a lot of issues - safety, certification, inspection, etc - that we won't pretend to know a lot about. But one issue that has nothing to do with this is immigration. Unless you're batshit-crazy like the folks at Americans for Legal Immigration, in which case your reaction is this:
Unless Americans on the left and the right unite to stop the Mexican Truck program authorized by NAFTA, over 150,000 unsafe Mexican trucks loaded with drugs and illegal aliens will roll into every state and community!

...Border level drug and illegal alien interdiction efforts will become completely moot as the designers of this 'North American Integration' treason desire.

Untold numbers of innocent Americans will perish at the hands of unqualified Mexican truck drivers who are inexperienced at driving on 1st world roadway systems, unsafe Mexican trucks, and the increased amount of deadly addictive drugs and illegal immigrant invaders brought into our American communities.
We hardly know where to begin. "Trucks loaded with drugs and illegal aliens will roll into every state and community"? Drugs are already rolling into every state and community, because Americans' demand for them is insatiable, and their willingness to pay billions of dollars for them is unabated. The first time a Mexican eighteen-wheeler packed with cocaine rolls uninvited into a small American community, we'll gladly revisit the issue, but for now let's agree it's silly, okay?

But our favorite scare quote is the one about "Mexican truck drivers who are inexperienced at driving on 1st world roadway systems." Clearly, no one at ALIPAC has ever driven on a Mexican highway, most of which feature such "1st world" amenities as pavement, medians, yellow lines and extortionate toll plazas. This for instance, is the road from Querétaro to Mexico City:



Putting reality aside (a requirement when dealing with these people), the argument seems to be that Mexican truckers, used to driving thousands of miles on pockmarked dirt roads with no shoulders, guardrails or traffic signs, and covered from one end to another with donkeys and lazy Mexicans sleeping under the shade of the giant cacti will, upon coming in contact with America's perfectly-maintained 1st-world highway infrastructure, immediately lose control of their vehicles, flip over and burst into flames atop a school bus full of handicapped American orphans.

Of course, the ALIPAC screed has nothing to do with trucking, or with the long-overdue fulfillment of a multi-national trade agreement signed almost 20 years ago. Mexicans are a subhuman race of drug dealers and aliens and anything Mexican, even an American-made Mexican truck, is an evil to be vanquished by good, God-fearing white people.

ALIPAC knows how to solve the problem, though. Unsurprisingly, it involves donating money to ALIPAC. (Didn't see that one coming, did you? You did? Okay, never mind.)

American 18-wheelers driven by Americans kill about 5,000 Americans every year. Someday, now that Mexican trucks can enter the US, a Mexican driver is going to kill an American. Good Lord, do we dread that day.

5 comments:

Dave said...

Have at 'em. Having driven in Mexico alongside of plenty of these *gasp* dangerous trucks, I pretty much feel right at home. Obviously there's a lot of willful ignorance here by people with good imaginations(trying to be charitable).

Can't say I'm at all comfortable driving in D.F. however. Now, if a fleet of peseros would be let loose north of the border, I'd be more nervous.

Funny how NAFTA was just fine when we could dump our cheap corn on Mexico.....

Crazy Rita said...

I can't speak about the safety of Mexican semis and their drivers, but I find the drivers of passenger buses truly amazing. I swear that more than once the driver drove more than 12 hours without a bathroom break.

Crazy Rita said...

I can't speak about the safety of Mexican semis and their drivers, but I find the drivers of passenger buses truly amazing. I swear that more than once the driver drove more than 12 hours without a bathroom break.

knetcomp said...

Awesome blog, I had a few laughs with this article. Good to know there are still some sane people in the world :)

Charles Pergiel said...

I vent to the Alipac website, just to see what kind of nut cases were running it. I see their donation progress bar. They are making some progress towards their goal of $40K. What a minute, $40K? That's all they want? For some reason that makes me think the whole thing is just a scam being run by someone who is trying to make enough money to pay his rent, not because he is a racist, it's just that pandering to racism is paying his bills. Of course I could be all wet. On the other hand, I could sure use an extra $40K.