In OOIDA’s latest lame attempt to stop cross border trucking with Mexico using bogus or suspect data, they go back to a little known provision of the Safe Port Act of 2006, specifically Section 703.
Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Candice Miller, chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, no doubt at the urging of OOIDA and the Teamsters, recently sent a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security demanding to know why section 703 of the act had not been complied with.
Anybody heard of section 703, much less the Safe Port Act of 2006? We hadn’t until now, but when we saw this, we got up to speed on it pretty damned quick.
The Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 or SAFE Port Act is an 1883 page document that has to do with securing America’s seaports and other ports of entry and provides guidelines for the C-TPAT program, crewmember identification, nuclear incident preparedness and the like. ABSOLUTELY nothing within the SAFE Port Act of 2006 specifically targets the cross border pilot program with Mexico as OOIDA alleges.
SEC. 703. TRUCKING SECURITY.
(c) VERIFICATION OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC.—
(1) GUIDELINES.—Not later than 18 months after the date
of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation
with the Secretary of Transportation, shall draft guidelines
for Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials, including
motor carrier safety enforcement personnel, on how to identify
noncompliance with Federal laws uniquely applicable to
commercial motor vehicles and commercial motor vehicle operators
engaged in cross-border traffic and communicate such noncompliance
to the appropriate Federal authorities. Such guidelines
shall be coordinated with the training and outreach activities
of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under
section 4139 of SAFETEA-LU (Public Law 109–59).
(2) VERIFICATION.—Not later than 18 months after the
date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shall modify the
final rule regarding the enforcement of operating authority
(Docket No. FMCSA–2002–13015) to establish a system or
process by which a carrier’s operating authority can be verified
during a roadside inspection.
The date of the act was October 13, 2006. 18 months would put the date of compliance at April 13, 2008.
So the question is, what laws are “uniquely applicable” to commercial motor vehicles and commercial motor vehicle operators engaged in cross-border traffic? What laws do they refer to that would fall under the authority of DHS? Certainly not the requirement to speak English. That’s a regulation, not a law. And again, this says nothing specific to the cross border pilot program. It specifies CMV and CMV operators engaged in cross border traffic. A reasonable mind would come to the conclusion that this was aimed at the 25,000 or so drayage or commercial zone carriers crossing the southern border annually in addition to all the Canadians who have carte blanche access to the United States across the northern border.
With that in mind, it begs the question as to why OOIDA even brings it up in their continued pathetic attempts to stop the unstoppable. It has absolutely nothing to do with the participants in the Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico.
This goes to show that congress critter like King and Miller blindly follow what they are fed by the various lobbyists. Part of the letter sent to Secretary Napolitano offers proof of this.
“Given the numerous regulations and strict oversight your department places over our domestic trucking industry, we would hope that your department would take an equally active role in foreign carriers operating within the United States.”
They continue with,
“Therefore, we want to make certain that the department is taking all precautions and steps necessary to ensure that we are properly and thoroughly vetting the trucks and drivers entering this country, and providing necessary guidance to our federal, state and local partners who will encounter these trucks in their various jurisdictions during the course of their duties.”
Again, nothing at all about Mexican trucks and we know from looking at the guidelines published regarding the Cross Border Pilot Program with Mexico, that the participants are the most closely monitored and vetted commercial vehicles operating in our country.
And where it concerns Mexico, their drivers must possess a valid passport, I-94 entry/exit card and the appropriate visa to conduct their business on this side of the border, something not required of the Canadians. We know who the Mexicans are crossing into this country through our commercial ports of entry. Not so much so those from the north.
This is simply another lame attempt by OOIDA to muddy the issue and foster outrage among their members, and perhaps persuade members who are wondering “what the hell has OOIDA done for me” to renew their membership in the rapidly dwindling ranks of OOIDA.
For those interested, the SAFE Port Act of 2006 can be downloaded here.