(Aswini Anburajan, Feet in Two Worlds) The Republican presidential candidates have been unusually quiet on President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the 17 year ban on Mexican commercial trucks entering the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement, despite objections from Republican and Democratic congressmen and the powerful Teamsters Union.
The first truck crossed the border last week. The issue may be a non-issue in the presidential campaign as all candidates in the race claim support for free trade agreements. However allowing trucking between the countries and Mexican drivers to enter the United States touches on immigration, the fear of people entering the United States illegally and the threat some Americans, including those in unions, claim that immigration poses to American workers.
The emotions that the decision is invoking pits two key sections of the Republican party against each other – the pro-business movement, which sees a move like this as a cut in costs, and the hardliners who are advocating higher walls and more security around the border to limit any opportunity for people to enter the United States illegally.