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Will Mexican Truck Drivers With Criminal Records Soon Be Driving on U.S. Highways?
Bob McCarty Writes ^ | 5-25-10 | Bob McCarty

Posted on 05/25/2010 10:53:29 AM PDT by BobMcCartyWrites

Does anyone truly believe corruption will not surface among officials in the Mexican government if a FAST Pass system is part of a cross-border trucking plan?

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Travel
KEYWORDS: aliens; border; mexicantrucks; mexico; safety; trucking
Though I suspect most Americans paid little or no attention to news about President Barack Obama hosting Mexican President Felipe Calderón for two days last week, I think many will be interested in what results from the meeting between the two elected leaders, especially when they think about the question raised in the headline above.

On May 19, Presidents Obama and Calderón released a joint statement in which they highlighted a trade and transportation plan aimed at achieving a mutually-agreed-upon solution. Among the premises listed in that plan was the following:

Recognizing that transnational criminal organizations threaten the economies and security of both the United States and Mexico and that both countries share responsibility for the conditions that give rise to these criminal organizations and that allow them to endure, as well as shared responsibility for remedying those conditions

In short, the two made a public acknowledgment of the issue of border security.

Further into the plan, another entry appears under the section, "AREAS OF COLLABORATION":

The creation, expansion, or mutual recognition of “trusted shipper” programs such as FAST and C-TPAT and “trusted traveler” programs such as SENTRI and Global Entry, allowing enforcement authorities to concentrate their efforts where they are most needed to stop illicit border flows

This time, they acknowledge the need to make crossing the border faster and easier for people who, by completing some paperwork and meeting certain criteria, qualify for special treatment during border crossings.

Now, companies like U.S. Immigration, Visa & Travel of Minneapolis, Minn., enter the picture, complete with an official-looking Department of State seal in their site's masthead.

Though the graphic above appears prominently on a page on the company's web site, an explanation of the FAST Pass program renders the red-letter headline somewhat less frightening:

Truckers with criminal records are ineligible for a FAST Pass unless they have received a US waiver and / or a Canadian pardon, which wipes the crime form the records databases but does not delete it completely from central records offices. A Canada pardon is only recognized in Canada and not in the US. If your crime was committed in Canada or you are resident there and you committed a crime abroad then you must get a pardon to clear your criminal record with the Canadian customs and border protection authorities. If your crime was committed in the US you need to get a waiver of inadmissibility. It takes around a year to get hold of these documents and even then there is no guarantee that you will then get your FAST pass.

Still, U.S. and Canadian truckers with criminal records CAN obtain FAST Passes IF they're willing to do the paperwork and IF they're willing to wait as long as a year.

After digesting the information above, one question remains about the aforementioned plan being drafted between the U.S. and Mexican governments: Does anyone truly believe that corruption will not surface among officials in the Mexican government if a FAST Pass system similar to the one already in use between the U.S. and Canada is put into play via the U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking plan?

“Mexico’s regulatory standards and enforcement on trucks aren’t even remotely equivalent to what we have here," said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Grain Valley, Mo.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, in a news release issued last month. "To open the border at this time is insanity from both an economic standpoint and safety."

And what about U.S. trucking jobs going south?

Dan Little, president of the Carrollton, Mo.-based Owner Operators United, Inc., outlined his concerns in a May 13 letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood which ended with this message:

"Should the cross border program go into effect, thousands of American drivers and trucking companies will be forced out, many ending in bankruptcy. The fall out will be felt throughout the entire country."


1 posted on 05/25/2010 10:53:29 AM PDT by BobMcCartyWrites
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

It will no longer be Bush’es fault ... blame Clinton !

2 posted on 05/25/2010 11:04:46 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites

What's with the goofy future interrogative tense?

This is happening in the well-established present.

Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

3 posted on 05/25/2010 11:05:43 AM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites
Will Mexican Truck Drivers With Criminal Records Soon Be Driving on U.S. Highways?

Why not? We let criminals of any other "skill" just walk in. Why should truckers be any different?

4 posted on 05/25/2010 11:05:46 AM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the Sting of Truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..


5 posted on 05/25/2010 11:14:36 AM PDT by HiJinx (~ Illegal is a Crime, it is not a Race ~)
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To: BobMcCartyWrites
American drivers would not want to drive there if you read this article it points out the issues with being a Truck Driver in Mexico with freight from the USA.

Posted on Sat, May. 22, 2010 In Mexico, highway robbery is big business By TIM JOHNSON

TEPOTZOTLAN, Mexico | Highway robbers and railway bandits are riding high in Mexico, pulling off brazen daylight heists and inflicting serious damage on the national economy.

“It’s getting worse and worse every day,” said Luis Alvarez Marcen of the Mexican Insurers Association.

Train robberies occur an average of 4.5 times a day, and parts of Mexico are so rife with truck hijackings that a newspaper labeled them “Bermuda Triangles,” referring to the Atlantic Ocean region where ships and planes supposedly have vanished.

Along some major highways, armed gangs take control of one fully loaded 18-wheeler after another. They unhitch the tractor-trailers and hitch them onto their own cabs, hauling the loot away.

“They can do it in less than two minutes,” said Gustavo Passa, the regional safety and security manager for Ryder System, a global transportation and logistics company with headquarters in suburban Miami. A highway cargo trade group in Mexico, known by its Spanish initials as Canacar, reported more than 10,000 highway thefts of cargo last year, a 40 percent spike over the previous year. No figures are available yet for 2010.

Using government data, the Mexican Association of Security and Industrial Satellite Companies estimated that losses from cargo theft last year amounted to about $9 billion, or nearly 1 percent of the country’s economic output, said the group’s secretary, Adrian Charansonnet.

One audacious technique of highway robbers is to masquerade as police officers, including fake uniforms and patrol cars.

“It’s very common to see gunmen ... dressed up like federal policemen manning very legitimate-looking roadblocks out in the middle of nowhere on one of these federal highways,” said Samuel Logan, the manager for Latin America at iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, a global intelligence and risk management consultancy.

Cargo thievery is a problem worldwide, but it has a violent edge in Mexico. About 60 to 65 percent of the thefts are at gunpoint, said Alvarez Marcen of the insurance industry.

Impersonating a police officer and using a firearm in a holdup draws the attention of law enforcement and raises the stakes in countries such as the United States, but not necessarily in Mexico, where conviction rates are low.

Criminal gangs along the highways and rail lines increasingly rob in league with powerful narcotics cartels that are diversifying into other types of crime, experts said.

As the government of President Felipe Calderon has put pressure on the cartels, their gunmen “look for rewarding work with less risk in the form of cargo theft,” said the 2010 global threat assessment from FreightWatch International, a logistics security provider based in Austin, Texas.

The drug cartels bring more sophisticated techniques, such as bribing warehouse and customs personnel for information about truck routes and valuable cargo loads, and use their muscle to move the stolen goods to market.

Fencing stolen goods is relatively risk-free in Mexico City, a metropolitan area of some 25 million people that supports sprawling informal markets in which “hundreds of truckloads of merchandise disappear every day,” the FreightWatch report said.

“Just about any cargo is at risk. Electric appliances, food, clothing, shoes, car parts, medicines — whatever the product, there’s a bustling underground market ready to receive it,” said a report in March from Kroll Associates, a global risk consultancy.

A Kroll senior director in the Mexico City office, Francesco Pipitone, said gang leaders sometimes threatened informal market vendors in order to get rid of merchandise they had on hand, because they were going to be given stolen goods in a few days that they must sell.

In response to the rising thefts, transport companies resort to more sophisticated GPS devices on trucks, move units in convoys, and employ escort vehicles.

Robbers are upping their game, too, learning to disable the GPS locators on the tops of cabs or pulling hijacked vehicles under bridges to block the signals, giving themselves more time to off-load or re-hitch the trailers, Logan said.

Large multinational companies often have monitoring centers that observe trucks via GPS as they make their routes. Drivers have “panic buttons” in their cabs and security seals on their trailers. Remote security personnel can cut the fuel to the engines if the drivers get out or hijackers seize the rigs.

“In Mexico, we have a much larger security staff than in the States, and a much larger percentage of our shipments are under escort,” said Bill Anderson, the director of global security for Ryder.

Smaller companies, fewer of which are insured, are hit hard by theft. Their drivers sometimes make unauthorized stops to buy cigarettes, eat, visit girlfriends or even pick up unauthorized cargo, Charansonnet said, leaving parked trucks vulnerable to assault.

A veteran driver who had stopped along the road on Mexico City’s northern outskirts — “just call me ‘Rattlesnake,’ ” he said of his identity — said that a major factor in cargo theft was collusion between corrupt police and gangs, often occurring near tollbooths or rest areas.

“Along the highway to Puebla,” he said, referring to an industrial city near the capital, “right after the Amozoc tollbooth, they’ll put a gun to your head.”

Criminal gangs deploy more gunmen when they rob trains. Pipitone said that commandos of 10 to 15 rifle-toting gunmen were not uncommon.

Acting to slow the rampant holdups of trains, Mexico’s Congress in late April categorized train robbery as a “serious crime” and toughened sentences to 10 to 30 years in prison. Unlike in the past, train-robbing suspects won’t be freed on bond before trial.

The president of the Mexico subsidiary of Kansas City Southern, Jose G. Zozaya, said his railway was “not immune to being hit by organized crime.”

He said it had employed tactics such as moving trains faster, using “jump teams” of responders when situations developed, and fostering good support from state and federal police to minimize robberies of cargoes that include fuel, steel, grains, petrochemicals, auto parts and new automobiles.

“Our competitors have had autos stolen off their platforms multiple times,” Zozaya said, noting that Mexico is a major exporter of new cars.

6 posted on 05/25/2010 11:44:58 AM PDT by ncfool (The new USSA - United Socialst States of AmeriKa. Welcome to Obummers world.)
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To: ncfool

Could you please post a link??

7 posted on 05/25/2010 11:55:39 AM PDT by amihow
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To: The Comedian

I was just getting ready to type the same two-word answer: Already Happening.

8 posted on 05/25/2010 12:31:26 PM PDT by 1951Boomer
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To: BobMcCartyWrites
This is a question only twinkie Americans ask.

There are no criminal records in Mexico, unless someone happens not to pay the mordida to get the local policia to remove whatever slip of paper they happen to have on him.

You might as well assume they are all criminals, because you will never be able to prove otherwise.

And anyone who's driven the Mexican highways at night knows the game.

9 posted on 05/25/2010 12:47:36 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out!! The Americans are On the March!! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
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