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The Supreme Court Will Take Mexican Trucking Case (Nafta,Ftaa,Wto)
AP ^ | Dec 15,2003 | ANNE GEARAN

Posted on 12/15/2003 2:13:51 PM PST by ask

Court Will Take Mexican Trucking Case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court agreed Monday to intervene in a two-decade-old fight over allowing Mexican trucks and buses on U.S. roadways.

The court said it will hear an appeal from the Bush administration, which wants to open the border to Mexican trucks without a court-ordered environmental study.

The $1.8 million study is expected to take a year or more, further delaying the border opening President Bush ordered last fall over long-standing opposition from U.S. labor, consumer and environmental organizations.

The consumer group Public Citizen, the Teamsters and others sued on safety and environmental grounds, and a federal appeals court ruled earlier this year that the government must perform the lengthy study.

The Bush administration has said it will comply with that order, but also appealed to the Supreme Court in September.

"The court of appeals misapplied the nation's environmental laws and constrained the president's discretion to conduct foreign affairs," Solicitor General Theodore Olson wrote.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "prevents the president's action form taking effect and thereby hampers commerce," Olson told the court.

The ruling also needlessly prolongs a trade dispute with Mexico over the requirements of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Olson wrote.

The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit handles appeals from the Mexican border states of California and Arizona, as well as other western states.

In response, Public Citizen said the government's appeal, or petition, overplayed the notion that the president's foreign affairs power was crimped.

"This is a petition in search of a problem," the group's lawyers wrote. "Despite petitioners' attempt to turn this case into a foreign policy challenge, it concerns only the routine application of domestic environmental laws to federal agency action."

Public Citizen also noted that the study is under way and would be well along by the time the Supreme Court heard and decided the case.

"The issue will soon resolve itself and there is no need for the court to intervene," the group argued.

The environmental study will analyze short- and long-term environmental effects of opening U.S. roads to Mexican trucks. The study will not stop Mexican trucks from operating in the long run, but Public Citizen has said it should lessen potentially harmful effects.

Since 1982, trucks from Mexico have been allowed only in 20-mile commercial border zones, where Mexican rigs must transfer their cargo to U.S. trucks for deliveries within the United States.

Mexican trucks make approximately 4.5 million border crossings every year, and it is cumbersome and expensive to offload cargo to U.S. trucks, the administration filing said.

"Passengers using scheduled bus services must follow similarly inefficient procedures," Olson wrote.

Mexico claims the moratorium has cost it more than $2 billion.

The case is United States v. Public Citizen, 03-358.


On the Net:

Supreme Court:

Public Citizen Mexican truck safety site:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Mexico; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: illegals; immigrantlist; mexican; mexicantrucking; nafta; trade; trucking

1 posted on 12/15/2003 2:13:52 PM PST by ask
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To: gubamyster
2 posted on 12/15/2003 2:18:26 PM PST by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: ask
The President'e must not think we have enough illegals, now he wants to ship them in by the eighteen wheeler full.
3 posted on 12/15/2003 2:22:38 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: ask
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to intervene in a two-decade-old fight over allowing Mexican trucks and buses on U.S. roadways.


There are very few things more dangerous to human life than a Mexican bus. I think busses are the main means of poplation control in Mexico.

4 posted on 12/15/2003 2:22:56 PM PST by templar
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To: ask
Been there...done that. Some of these 'Mexican' van carriers making hauls in 15 passenger vehicles to the interior of Mexico have drivers doing the stretch ONE LONG trip from Chicago to Monterrey, no sleep! Yes Sir. They need to make them keep logs, have proper insurance,.... Heavens, I've sure seen alot of American buses down here in these parts. Fact of a matter, some JB Hunt Trailers, lots of American trucks in Mexico. For the record.
5 posted on 12/15/2003 2:32:40 PM PST by rovenstinez
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To: rovenstinez
Immigration and Venezuela: Terrorist links at the Immigration Department

By Veneconomy President Hugo Chávez’ administration has been linked to guerrilla movements and terrorist activities, mainly radical Arab groups in the Middle East.

The most recent accusation comes from an investigative report conducted for the Miami Herald by Phil Gunson, president of the Foreign Press Association in Venezuela.

The starting point of the investigation was the appointments of Hugo Cabezas, aged 38, and Tarek el-Aissami, 28, as director and assistant director of the DIEX (Identification and Immigration Office) two months ago. According to Gunson, the appointments came as a surprise precisely because of the ties that both officers have with radical guerrilla movements at Universidad de Los Andes (ULA) and el-Aisammi’s possible ties with radical movements in the Middle East.

It is said that both Cabezas and el-Aissami have fostered the presence of urban guerrillas in cahoots with the governor of Mérida, Florencio Porras, for whom Cabezas worked as secretary until last July. Cabezas was a founder member of Utopia, an armed group that has connections with the Bolivarian Liberation Front.

El-Aissami, a Venezuelan whose father is Syrian, was president of the ULA’s students union for two years up until July this year, when he failed to get reelected. Apparently, he had managed to get members of the guerilla installed in the student residences during this time. According to Gunson, of the 1,122 people living in one of the ULA’s residences, only 387 are active students and more than 600 have nothing to do with the university.

El-Aissami had political control of the residences, which were used to hide stolen vehicles and conduct drug deals. In addition, the people living there would use balaclavas to commit crimes on the streets.

As though that were not enough, el-Aissami’s father is the head of the Venezuelan branch of the Iraqi political party Baath, while his great-uncle Shibli el-Aissami was a prominent ideologist and assistant to the party’s secretary general in Baghdad during the Saddam Hussein administration. Guson points out that Tarek el-Aissami was unwilling to give a statement to the Miami Herald.

The DIEX, the agency in charge of issuing identity cards and passports, has been put into the hands of radicals with terrorist connections precisely at a time when Venezuela is at the gates of a revocatory referendum against President Chávez and a number of deputies. It seems quite clear that the government intends to commit fraud in order to derail the referendum initiative.

Terror Close to Home
In oil-rich Venezuela, a volatile leader befriends bad actors from the Mideast, Colombia, and Cuba
By Linda Robinson, US News & World Report 06/10/03
The oil-rich but politically unstable nation of Venezuela is emerging as a potential hub of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, providing assistance to Islamic radicals from the Middle East and other terrorists, say senior U.S. military and intelligence officials. Bush administration aides see this as an unpredictably dangerous mix and are gathering more information about the intentions of a country that sits 1,000 miles south of Florida.

One thing that's clear is that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is fast becoming America's newest nemesis, U.S. officials say. He has forged close ties with Cuba's Fidel Castro and has befriended some of America's other notorious enemies, traveling to Saddam's Iraq and Qadhafi's Libya. Now, after surviving an attempted coup and a nationwide petition demanding his recall, Chavez is flirting with terrorism, and Washington is watching with increasing alarm.

"We are not disinterested spectators," says Roger Noriega, the new assistant secretary of state for Latin America. "Any actions that undermine democratic order or threaten the security and well-being of the region are of legitimate concern to all of Venezuela's neighbors." U.S. officials are monitoring three sets of developments:

Middle Eastern terrorist groups are operating support cells in Venezuela and other locations in the Andean region. A two-month review by U.S. News, including interviews with dozens of U.S. and Latin American sources, confirms the terrorist activity. In particular, the magazine has learned that thousands of Venezuelan identity documents are being distributed to foreigners from Middle Eastern nations, including Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Venezuela is supporting armed opposition groups from neighboring Colombia; these groups are on the official U.S. list of terrorist organizations and are also tied to drug trafficking. Maps obtained by U.S. News, as well as eyewitness accounts, pinpoint the location of training camps used by Colombian rebels, a top rebel leader, and Venezuelan armed groups.

Cubans are working inside Venezuela's paramilitary and intelligence apparatus. The coordination between Cuba and Venezuela is the latest sign that Venezuelan President Chavez is modeling his government on Castro's Cuba.

The Venezuelan government denies supporting Middle Eastern terrorist groups and says that no Cubans are operating inside its intelligence agencies. Venezuela has long denied providing aid to the Colombian guerrilla groups.

Venezuela is providing support--including identity documents--that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups, say U.S. officials. U.S. News has learned that Chavez's government has issued thousands of cedulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia, and Middle Eastern nations that play host to foreign terrorist organizations. An American official with firsthand knowledge of the ID scheme has seen computer spreadsheets with names of people organized by nationality. "The list easily totaled several thousand," the official says. "Colombians were the largest group; there were more than a thousand of them. It also included many from Middle Eastern `countries of interest' like Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon." The official adds: "It was shocking to see how extensive the list was." U.S. officials believe that the Venezuelan government is issuing the documents to people who should not be getting them and that some of these cedulas were subsequently used to obtain Venezuelan passports and even American visas, which could allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States. U.S. officials say that the cedulas are also being used by Colombian subversives and by some Venezuelan officials to travel surreptitiously.

The suspicious links between Venezuela and Islamic radicalism are multiplying. American law enforcement and intelligence officials are exploring whether there is an al Qaeda connection--specifically, they want to know if a Venezuelan of Arab descent named Hakim Mamad al Diab Fatah had ties to any of the September 11 hijackers. The United States deported Diab Fatah to Venezuela for immigration violations in March 2002. A U.S. intelligence official says that Diab Fatah is still a "person of interest" and that his family in Venezuela is "a well-known clan associated with extremist and illicit activity" in northern Venezuela. But when U.S. officials sought Diab Fatah for further questioning, they were told by Venezuelan officials that he was not in the country. Diab Fatah may also be tied to the Caracas mosque of Sheik Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz, which has caught investigators' attention. One of the mosque's officials, also a Venezuelan of Arab descent, was recently arrested in London for carrying a grenade on a Caracas-London flight.

Sympathy. Latin America's Arab communities are also becoming centers for terrorist sympathizers. A Venezuelan analyst who recently visited Margarita Island, a free zone on the north coast of Venezuela run largely by Arab merchants from Lebanon and Iran, described the Venezuelan-Arab Friendship Association as a "fortress" with armed guards outside. A U.S. official says the association has been long known as a location of illicit activities. In addition, support "cells" for the groups Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamiyya al Gammat are active on Margarita, according to Gen. James Hill, the head of the U.S. Southern Command. In a speech last month, Hill said: "These groups generate funds through money laundering, drug trafficking, or arms deals and make millions of dollars every year via their multiple illicit activities. These logistic cells reach back to the Middle East."

Venezuela's support for terrorist organizations isn't limited to those based in Lebanon or Egypt. Colombia's complaints that Venezuela is actively aiding two Colombian armed groups on the U.S. State Department's terrorist list--the FARC and the ELN--have been met by heated Venezuelan denials. But U.S. News has obtained detailed information demonstrating that camps used by the Colombian rebels exist inside Venezuela; maps actually pinpoint the location of the camps, and firsthand reports describe visits by Venezuelan officials. The armed Colombian groups, though they have waged no attacks on U.S. soil, are among the most active terrorist groups in the world, and several of their leaders have been indicted in the United States for the killings and kidnappings of Americans and for drug trafficking.

The FARC's principal camp in Venezuela is in the Perija mountains near an Indian village called Resumidero, according to maps and testimony from FARC deserters. The Resumidero base is home to one of the FARC's top leaders, Ivan Marquez, and can accommodate 700 people. Marquez commands 1,000 fighters and, according to one deserter's account, oversees the training of hundreds more would-be guerrillas. A clandestine FARC radio station is located about 30 miles away, on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Resumidero, which has 100 huts and three houses for Marquez and other leaders, is two days' walk from another camp called Asamblea, near the city of Machiques, which is about 35 miles inside Venezuelan territory. That camp, which has 25 houses and even Internet access, is used to train still more more fighters.

U.S. News has also obtained documents that offer firsthand accounts--from people inside the camps--that illustrate the extent of Venezuela's backing of the Colombian rebels. According to debriefings of former rebels, some 60 Venezuelan soldiers, plus two Venezuelan officers, provide training to the FARC rebels at the Resumidero camp. Visitors to the camp have included Venezuelan civilians and Europeans. A 31-year-old FARC deserter who spent seven months at FARC camps inside Venezuela, says he witnessed Venezuelan officers arrive by helicopter. He says his unit twice ambushed the Colombian Army and then fled to sanctuary in Venezuela. He also asserts that "abundant ammunition"--a cache in April included 2,500 rounds of 7.62mm and .223-caliber ammunition for automatic rifles--has been shipped across the border to Colombia. Another guerrilla who turned herself in last July says she saw FARC leaders heading for a camp called Rio Verde in Venezuela. And a former guerrilla, a 32-year-old man, says he fled from battle to a camp called Sastreria in Venezuela.

Drug money helps fuel the fighting. Another FARC source told U.S. News that he witnessed a FARC logistics chief trade 8 kilograms of cocaine and cash for guns from a Venezuelan colonel, who arranged the shipments from Venezuelan Army stocks. Colombian officials have documented many such guns-for-drugs trades; they also confirm the existence of training camps--and even spots where hostages are held--along Venezuela's frontier from the flatlands of Arauca northward to the mountains of Perija. Adds a U.S. official: "It's no secret the level of cooperation that the Venezuelan government is giving to the Colombian groups, from the shipment of arms in, to the shipment of drugs out, to the movement of people in and out of Colombia." During an August visit to the region, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, went so far as to suggest that Venezuela's support for terrorists in Colombia was like Syria's support for terrorists in Iraq. "It is simply not helpful when countries don't fully support the antiterrorist fight."

The Chavez government's support of the Colombian guerrillas is no act of charity. After he was elected in 1998, Chavez vowed to bring about a "Bolivarian revolution" in Venezuela; the movement is named for Simon Bolivar, the 19th-century hero who defeated the Spanish in South America. But Chavez's popularity has plummeted, and Venezuela's economy is troubled. In April 2002, he survived a military coup--one that the United States prematurely applauded. Chavez has since purged the military.

The armed Colombian groups are helping Chavez create a force loyal to his regime. The FARC and ELN were "instrumental" in the formation and training of a 200-man Venezuelan armed group called the Frente Bolivariano de Liberacion that operates in western Venezuela, according to U.S. officials. The FARC has also provided training to the so-called Bolivarian Circles, an urban organization that Chavez set up to defend and promote his revolution.

Senior U.S. officials are concerned about the growing Cuban presence inside Venezuela. All told, some 5,000 Cubans have traveled to the country; in particular, many are turning up inside Venezuela's intelligence and paramilitary apparatus. Says one U.S. official: "The Cubans are deeply embedded in Venezuela's intelligence agency." Castro and Chavez are so close, they are said to talk by phone every day. Cubans also form part of Chavez's personal bodyguard detail. There is ample evidence, officials say, that "Cuba provides military training to pro-Chavez organizations" that have been set up to safeguard Chavez from coup attempts like the one he survived last year. None of this surprises U.S. officials who have been watching Chavez. "He decided to follow the Cuban model long ago," says one, citing speeches he made in 1994 and 1998. Chavez is sending some 53,000 barrels of oil monthly to help Castro's cash-strapped Cuba. And large numbers of Venezuelan military personnel have also been sent to Cuba for training.

Given all that is happening in Chavez's Venezuela, some American officials regret that terrorism is seen chiefly as a Middle East problem and that the United States is not looking to protect its southern flank. "I'm concerned that counterterrorism issues are not being aggressively pursued in this hemisphere," one U.S. intelligence official said. "We don't even have flyovers" of Venezuela. Another intelligence official complains that terror suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. base in Cuba, are not being interrogated about connections to Latin American. The bottom line, when it comes to terrorism so close to U.S. shores, says the official: "We don't even know what we don't know."
6 posted on 12/15/2003 2:36:07 PM PST by ask
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To: *immigrant_list; A Navy Vet; Lion Den Dan; Free the USA; Libertarianize the GOP; madfly; B4Ranch; ..
7 posted on 12/15/2003 2:37:15 PM PST by gubamyster
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To: ask
BAD BAD IDEA to allow them in.

Also creates a problem for US Truckers as a Mexican truck can fuel in Mexico with dirty high sulfur gas maek around trip as far away as the Bay Area!
8 posted on 12/15/2003 2:48:33 PM PST by Kay Soze (Conservative voting for Bush soley to deny a Dim from office is by definition RINO. I am now a RINO)
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To: ask
"The court said it will hear an appeal from the Bush administration, which wants to open the border to Mexican trucks without a court-ordered environmental study"

We already see trucks from Mexico around here already. They're the ones in the fast lane doing 50mph with bald tires, broken lights, windsheilds too dirty to see through and spewing more soot than a burning plastics factory.

Aside from the environmental issue you've got lousy drivers behind the wheels of poorly maintained semis. Not a good mix.
9 posted on 12/15/2003 3:35:34 PM PST by Ribeye (Protective head wear courtesy of Reynolds Aluminum Products)
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To: ask
From a former driver of one of these busses: South of the border pick up of "legal" passengers w/ USA visa issued for health emergency. These are short term visas & must be turned in upon return to Mexico...HE RETURNED THE VISAS ONLY ON HIS NEXT TRIP...not the people...

RICO, if true.
10 posted on 12/15/2003 3:44:27 PM PST by getgoing
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To: ask
Another bad thing being pushed by GW. And another chance for the USSC to mess up America.
11 posted on 12/15/2003 4:04:32 PM PST by Revel
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To: ask
The maquilas are shutting down in Mexico ---- I guess Bush wants truck driving jobs for all their newly unemployed. Send them to China and let them drive trucks over there.
12 posted on 12/15/2003 4:43:33 PM PST by FITZ
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To: gubamyster; FairOpinion; FoxFang; FITZ; moehoward; Nea Wood; Joe Hadenuf; sangoo; ...
Oh this won't encourage human cargo on these trucks!
13 posted on 12/16/2003 10:23:08 AM PST by JustPiper (Saddam gives new meaning to "Ace in the Hole")
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