June 30, 2005: Tancredo Blasts CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (CONTACT: Will Adams)
June 30, 2005
Tancredo Blasts CAFTAs Back Door Immigration Provisions
Trade Pact Threatens U.S. Sovereignty, Allows Foreigners to Side-Step Immigration Laws
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, outlining the lawmakers serious concerns with the nearly 1,000 page-long Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
This agreement opens Americas borders to a lot more than sugar and bananas, said Tancredo, This agreement, as drafted, will effectively give people from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic a de facto right to work in the United States.
The agreement comes on the heels of prior trade agreements with Singapore and Chile, both of which also included provisions liberalizing immigration law.
Despite continued insistence by CAFTAs supporters that the deal does not include immigration provisions, the plain language of the agreement suggests otherwise.
Tancredo pointed to Chapter 11 of the agreement, which stipulates that, Cross-border trade in services or cross-border supply of services means the supply of a serviceby a national of a party in the territory of another party. The agreement goes on to say that the U.S. must ensure that, measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade in services, and are not in themselves a restriction on the supply of the service.
This agreement will allow foreign companies to challenge our immigration policies in international CAFTA tribunals and argue that the laws impede their ability to access the U.S. service sector, said Tancredo. That would force Congress to change our immigration laws, or subject our businesses to trade sanctions.
If this agreement is approved, the exclusive power of Congress to regulate immigration policy will be subjugated to the whim of international tribunals the same way that Congress ceded its once supreme Constitutional authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations to the WTO.