Letter to the Editor

Close border to Mexican truckers

Thursday, May 3, 2007

To the editor:The U.S. Department of Transportation is poised to kick the border wide open to trucks from Mexico operating throughout the United States. This will have an effect on all highway users.

The DOT says safety and security programs are in place. This is a joke.

Truckers in the United States must hold a valid commercial driver's license with 10 years of driving history. For the Mexican equivalent, we won't know if these drivers are trained as truckers or terrorists. U.S. truckers are required to be drug and alcohol tested and to follow hours of service regulations for driving time. No such regulations exist in Mexico. The DOT says every truck will be inspected at the border. Not likely. It inspects less than 4 percent now.

And what will these trucks haul into the United States? It could be people or drugs or dirty bombs. We won't know.

Why the rush to open the border? The answer is money. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes we need more trucks and cheaper labor. So safety is compromised and American drivers lose their jobs. That doesn't sound like anyone in this country wins.

There are more questions than answers. And until the DOT can assure the public that Mexican trucks are just as safe as U.S. trucks, the border must stay closed. Contact your elected officials today and tell them to keep the border closed.

RONDA TACKETT, Johnston City, Ill.