Another fallacy is the argument that the United States is somehow obligated by treaty to let in the Mexican trucks. But NAFTA is not a treaty -- it was never ratified by two-thirds of senators as the Constitution requires.
NAFTA is merely a law passed in 1993 by a simple majority vote of the Democrat-controlled Congress, and no Congress can be bound by a previous Congress. The only so-called obligation was issued by a secret NAFTA trade tribunal, not a real court whose judgments are binding.
A ban on Mexican trucks inserted into U.S. law in 2009 by retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has now expired, so the pressure to admit Mexican trucks is intensifying. On March 1, 56 members of Congress (including 29 Republicans) signed a letter asking the Obama administration to reopen our borders to Mexican trucks.
In response, opponents gathered the signatures of 78 members of Congress on an April 14 letter calling on Congress to permanently ban cross-border trucking. That letter included only six Republicans.
Of the 72 Democrats who signed the letter opposing Mexican trucks, many represent swing districts that Republicans expect to win on Nov. 2. A strong position against admitting Mexican trucks could be the secret weapon that enables dozens of vulnerable Democrats to save their seats.
A Rasmussen poll, taken last August when Obama flew to Guadalajara, found that "just 19 percent of Americans say the U.S. Congress should let trucks from Mexico cross the border and carry their loads on American highways, as Mexican President Felipe Calderon requested." Sixty-six percent opposed, and 15 percent were not sure.
Mexican truckloads cannot be effectively inspected. If an occasional truck is discovered carrying illegal drugs, the cartels would consider that just a cost of doing business.
U.S. voters and truck drivers cannot be baited into ending their opposition by the reciprocal offer to allow U.S. trucks to drive into Mexico. American truckers know they would take their lives into their hands by driving into the drug-war zone south of the border, where murders, dismemberments and kidnappings are daily occurrences.
Republicans better act fast to get on the right side of this issue, or they will risk losing the opportunity of a century to win a majority in Congress.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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