Criminal groups increasingly use trucks for smuggling

Hi Gang:
The important news report was forwarded to me by a former colleague of the INS.
The first time I provided testimony at a Congressional hearing, back in 1997 I compared immigration with a balloon.  What I said was that if you squeeze a balloon at one place it will bulge somewhere else.  The fixation that most people with the porosity of the US / Mexican border causes too many people including our nation’s “leaders” to all but ignore the utter lack of security within the visa process and the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program and certainly ignores the lack of security to be found along the US / Canadian border.
I would take issue with one statement made in the news report- the fact that the RCMP believes that 99 percent of the illegal aliens in the United States ran the US / Mexican border.  That statement ignores the millions of illegal aliens who entered the United States with nonimmigrant visas or under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program and then violated the terms of their admission.  Insofar as the illegal aliens who enter the United States without inspection (EWI) I would agree that the great majority of illegal aliens who enter the United States this way do so by running the US / Mexican border.  However, there have been terrorists who have entered the United States via the Canadian border and hence this border is certainly not an insignificant problem for the United States or for Canada, either.
There are obvious differences between the situation to be found in Canada as compared with Mexico.  I had the privilege of working with members of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Canada’s national police force.  Their members have always demonstrated a high level of professionalism, integrity and dedication that is the equal of the best of our law enforcement agencies.  However, Canada is not without crime and not without members of terrorist organizations operating in their country. 
The fact is that under the increasing push for globalization and the elimination of borders, criminals, terrorists and smugglers are finding it far easier to move people and a wide variety of contraband across international borders.  According to the news article, this problem will only increase in the coming decade.  If NAFTA is bad enough, consider that vehicles that are “registered” under the auspices of the Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST) will apparently enable trucks that are given these passes to zip across our nation’s borders!  Don’t you just hate having to wait behind a truck loaded with drugs, illegal aliens or maybe a weapon of mass destruction as the inspectors arrest the driver, the other occupants and strip down the vehicle?  What a nuisance!
Under FAST, those truck will simply be waved into the United States where they can efficiently deliver their “cargo!”  Don’t you just love efficiency?
If you think I am being sarcastic, consider this quote from the article:
                                                                                                            ********************************************

Several criminal groups have obtained passes for the Free and Secure Trade Program, or FAST, a program that speeds registered trucks through border crossings. This “demonstrates the vulnerability of these measures,” the report states. Cargo that is seized, stolen or lost can result in beatings, kidnapping or murder if the driver doesn’t pay back money to the criminal organizations.

                                                                                                            ********************************************

The lunacy is that the borders of the United States are not secure and now the administration is seeking to find ever more ways for trucks to enter our country without impediment!
Consider this quote from the news report that appeared on July 7 in Landline Magazine:
                                                                                                            ********************************************

According to The Canadian Press, “Increased competition and stricter security and environmental requirements are combining to squeeze out smaller companies and their drivers, the report says.”

The intelligence report’s findings on driving out small trucking competition is noteworthy, Rajkovacz said.

“This statement is in line with concerns we’ve voiced that many of the supposed ‘security/safety enhancements’ put in place for cross-border trucking were nothing more than a means to squeeze out small-business motor carrier competition,” said Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs. “This is courtesy of the same folks who  consistently cry about ‘leveling the playing field’ on issues such as EOBRs, speed limiters, and a wide assortment of small-business-killing regulatory efforts.”

According to a 2007 border threat assessment, marijuana and ecstasy typically are smuggled into the U.S. from Canada, while cocaine, tobacco, currency and weapons are smuggled into Canada from the U.S.

The 2007 report also cited highly “organized crime groups” that use counter surveillance, intimidation and other means to smuggle drugs, cash, guns and people across the border.

“The transport trucking industry, companies and drivers have been used to move large volumes of drugs in both directions,” that report states.

                                                                                                            ********************************************
It would appear that under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) not only is pressure being brought to bear to facilitate the movement of trucks across the northern and southern borders of the United States, but this same pressure is also helping to drive smaller trucking companies out of business.
On February 1, 2011 the Washington Times published a disturbing news report about the deplorable situation to be found along the US / Canadian border.  That important news report was entitled:  
U.S.-Canada border called ‘grossly underprotected’

Terrorism risk ‘higher’ than from Mexico

Here is the link to that report:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/1/us-canada-border-called-grossly-underprotected/

I wrote a commentary that was predicated on that news report.  Here is a link to my commentary:

No one should be surprised that huge corporations would want to eliminate the competition or that they would want borders opened to facilitate the movement of their trucks and the cargo they carry, thereby generating profits for their company.  What is incomprehensible is that the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico are yileding to the demands of these companies!

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution has been greatly abbreviated in the name of “national security.”  Airline travel often requires a level of scrutiny that may approximate the intrusiveness of a physical exam at the doctor’s office!
Yet in the name of “Free Trade” the dangerous Visa Waiver Program is being expanded at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce, the travel industry, and other corporate entities and organizations that prioritize profit over security.  Just check out the Discover America Partnership that continues to push for open borders and an expansion of the Visa Waiver Program and other related issues.  In their words 
“…The Discover America Partnership, under the leadership of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Travel Association, is a lobbying and grassroots campaign to advance visa and entry reforms that will enable the United States to regain the 17 percent market share of overseas travelers it had in 2000 by 2015.”
It is clear that the Discover America Partnership is determined to increase the “market share of overseas travelers.”  My concern is that by leaving our borders to found at international airports as well as along our land borders, open, we may well also increase another “market share” the share that relates to the influx of transnational terrorists and criminals who need to be able to move freely across international borders in order to carry out terrorist attacks and move contraband in conjunction with the drug trade and other criminal enterprises.
Here is the link to the website:

Here is the link and the report to be found on the website of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2011/may/us-chamber-president-calls-launch-travel-coalition-important-step-toward-vis

U.S. Chamber President Calls Launch of Travel Coalition Important Step Toward Visa and Entry Reforms

Discover America Partnership Highlights Barriers to U.S. Maximizing Potential of Global Travel Market


WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce put its support behind
today’s launch of the Discover America Partnership, a broad coalition to
advance visa and entry reforms for international travelers.


“Our nation’s travel policies – and the perception of these policies –
have deterred business travelers and tourists from visiting the U.S.,”
said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “In
addition to the impact on the travel industry, these policies discourage
international business travelers from coming to the United States to
train, purchase products, and participate in meetings and other business
activities.


“The creation of the Discover America Partnership is an important step
in highlighting the need for visa and entry reforms,” he said. “This
Partnership will educate policymakers and opinion leaders about the
economic significance of tourism and business travel, highlight the
barriers that prevent the U.S. from maximizing its potential in the
global travel market, and present the low or no cost solutions that are
necessary for the United States to stay competitive and create jobs.”


According to a report released today by the U.S. Travel Association,
long-haul arrivals to the U.S. have increased by less than 2 percent,
despite a worldwide increase of 60 million long-haul travelers over the
same decade. If the U.S. could restore its share of the global long-haul
travel market by 2015 to the 2000 level of 17 percent, and sustain this
level through 2020, it would add nearly $390 billion in U.S. exports
and create 1.3 million American jobs.


The Discover America Partnership, under the leadership of the American
Hotel and Lodging Association, National Restaurant Association, National
Retail Federation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Travel
Association, is a lobbying and grassroots campaign to advance visa and
entry reforms that will enable the United States to regain the 17
percent market share of overseas travelers it had in 2000 by 2015.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation
representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all
sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and
industry associations.

It is obvious that companies are in business to make a profit- however, in an era when borders have become more important than ever before to attempt to thwart terrorists, criminals and smugglers from circumventing the inspections process that is supposed to prevent the entry of illegal aliens and contraband into our country, border must be made more secure, not less secure!

I would remind you that when aliens evade the inspections process, no record is made of their entry into the United States.  Furthermore by running our borders, these aliens evade the scrutiny of our CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors who are charged with preventing the entry of aliens into our country whose presence may be harmful or even deadly.  It is said that you need not state the obvious, but isn’t it worth considering the name of that agency Customs and Border Protection?  How can those inspectors protect us when unknown millions of aliens can circumvent the inspections process that is designed to protect us?

Title 8, United States Code section 212 is section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:
Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations.  Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States.
It must be presumed that an alien who seeks to evade the inspections process belongs to one or more categories of aliens who would be deemed inadmissible under the provisions of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Finally I want you to give consideration to how capitalism is supposed to work.
Capitalism should generate competition.  There are two winners as a result of this competition.  Obviously the company that is the most effective and most efficient gains the most profit and excels because of economic Darwinism, so to speak.  The other winner is the consumer who gets the best product or service for the best price.
When companies find more efficient and productive ways of doing business through innovation, every one benefits.  However, when companies seek lower operating costs and greater profits at any cost, then a real problem develops.  When, forty years ago, the Ford Motor Company sold the Pinto with a faulty fuel system that was prone to explode in flames in a fear-end collision, people died.  An investigation showed that a cheap fix could have prevented these deaths, but the executives who made the decision to save about $10 per car over-road decency and commonsense.
For those of you who are too young to remember the outrage of the Ford Pinto, here is a link to a succinct Time Magazine article about this example of greed running amok:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1658545_1658498_1657866,00.html

Ford Pinto


They shoot horses, don’t they? Well, this is fish in a barrel. Of course
the Pinto goes on the Worst list, but not because it was a particularly
bad car — not particularly — but because it had a rather volatile
nature. The car tended to erupt in flame in rear-end collisions. The
Pinto is at the end of one of autodom’s most notorious paper trails, the
Ford Pinto memo , which ruthlessly calculates the cost of reinforcing
the rear end ($121 million) versus the potential payout to victims ($50
million). 

Conclusion? Let ’em burn.

When companies put profit over the safety of our nation or the livelihood of Americans, then they are demonstrating a level of greed that is utterly unacceptable!
All too often, naked greed motivates companies to take all sorts of steps to minimize costs and causes companies to outsource jobs, hire illegal aliens, seek to employ foreign workers who may demand lower salaries and fewer benefits.  Meanwhile Americans and lawful immigrants lose their jobs and the money earned by the foreign workers are sent from our country to the countries from which these foreign workers come.  This money, more than one hundred billion dollars, each year, is not spent in America and not invested in America.
The claim that open borders will generate new jobs does not mean much if Americans don’t get those jobs and if we permit criminals and terrorists to enter our country. 
The immigration laws are supposed to protect American workers from the harm that a massive influx of foreign workers would have on wages and working conditions.  This is why, in fact, that prior to the Second World War the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws was the responsibility of the Labor Department.
We are often told that America was built by immigrants.  In point of fact, immigrants did have a huge impact on the United States and other countries on this planet, however, what distinguished the United States from every other country has been our large and upwardly mobile middle class.  This resulted in people understanding that by securing a good education and/or improving their skill levels, they could attain amazing goals and not only score personal successes, but also create incredible opportunities for the United States.

This drive for profit may also result in companies producing substandard products or taking other unsafe and unethical shortcuts.
This is where government needs to make certain that certain standards are adhered to.
When huge companies or conglomerates are able to make huge campaign contributions to get favorable rulings, treaties and laws that help them and hurt their competition or harm our country, then we get into the area of what can only be referred to as corruption.
If a motorist offers a police officer a twenty dollar bill when he stopped for running a red light he is offering a bribe to that cop and this is a felony.
However, when multi-billion dollar corporations provide political parties with huge campaign donations, this is a normal business practice!
NAFTA is apparently not only compromising our nation’s security but, as claimed in the news article, is driving small companies out of business.  By driving companies out of business, competition is also driven out of the marketplace.  Ultimately the companies that survive will be able to boost their prices because they were able to defeat the competition- not by competition in the marketplace but through the political process. 
You can come to whatever conclusions you want- but to my thinking, NAFTA is contrary to our nation’s best interests by not only compromising our safety and security but by forcing smaller companies out of business in an unfair and Un-American way!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!


We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to get involved!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!


-michael cutler- 



Please check out my website:

Additionally- this summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”



I hope you will be joining my cohost, Paula Lauzon Ostman and me, on Fridays this summer!

Here is the link for this program:



http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Jul11/070411/070711-02.shtml

Canada report: Criminal groups increasingly use trucks for smuggling

As trade agreements like NAFTA boost international shipping, they
also provide drug cartels and organized crime syndicates increased
opportunities for growth and efficiency, a recent Canadian intelligence
report says.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently released part of an intelligence report to The Canadian Press.
The report says highly organized criminal organizations are
demonstrating newfound power and profit by outfitting new customized
compartments into trucks and trailers.

Aside from drugs, guns and humans, border police are increasingly
seizing large amounts of cash at border checkpoints, the report says,
according to
The Canadian Press. The report says cocaine is
the most common illegal commodity found in trucks coming to Canada from
the U.S., and marijuana is most often found

Royal Canadian Mounted Police say 99 percent of illegal immigrants
in the U.S. enter through the U.S.-Mexico border, but drugs, money and
humans are increasingly coming both ways through the nation’s shared
border with Canada.

Border security in Canada is a major concern for both countries,
even with this week’s news that the White House has reached an
agreement with Mexico expanding the cross-border trucking program at the
southern border.

Eighty percent of Canada’s 33 million residents live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.

The intelligence report reportedly details a complicated
scattershot of responsibilities divided between governments in both the
U.S. and Canada, regulatory bodies and transportation groups. According
to
The Canadian Press, the report says trucking traffic is
“expected to expand significantly over the next decade on North
American Free Trade Agreement corridors.

Several criminal groups have obtained passes for the Free and
Secure Trade Program, or FAST, a program that speeds registered trucks
through border crossings. This “demonstrates the vulnerability of these
measures,” the report states. Cargo that is seized, stolen or lost can
result in beatings, kidnapping or murder if the driver doesn’t pay back
money to the criminal organizations.

Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs, said “it’s no
surprise to us that security programs intended to speed the flow of
cross-border commerce are being exploited by criminal elements.”

“Beyond illegal contraband, organized gangs track and target high
value shipments for theft at opportunistic times – like when a trucker
stops to fuel,” Rajkovacz said.

One particular portion of the report highlighted a problem for owner-operators common in both Canada and the United States.

According to The Canadian Press, “Increased competition
and stricter security and environmental requirements are combining to
squeeze out smaller companies and their drivers, the report says.”

The intelligence report’s findings on driving out small trucking competition is noteworthy, Rajkovacz said.

“This statement is in line with concerns we’ve voiced that many of
the supposed ‘security/safety enhancements’ put in place for
cross-border trucking were nothing more than a means to squeeze out
small-business motor carrier competition,” said Joe Rajkovacz, OOIDA
director of regulatory affairs. “This is courtesy of the same folks who
consistently cry about ‘leveling the playing field’ on issues such as
EOBRs, speed limiters, and a wide assortment of small-business-killing
regulatory efforts.”

According to a 2007 border threat assessment,
marijuana and ecstasy typically are smuggled into the U.S. from
Canada, while cocaine, tobacco, currency and weapons are smuggled into
Canada from the U.S.

The 2007 report also cited highly “organized crime groups” that
use counter surveillance, intimidation and other means to smuggle drugs,
cash, guns and people across the border.

“The transport trucking industry, companies and drivers have been
used to move large volumes of drugs in both directions,” that report
states.

Sophisticated hidden compartments in trucks, vehicles and tires continue to be used.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is asking anyone who sees
suspicious groups or individuals seeking directions to and from the
border to call 911, or local police.

The full 2011 intelligence report is not immediately available for reporters, an RCMP spokeswoman told Land Line Thursday.

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