News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mexican city fining U.S. drivers for illegal fill-ups

The rush across the border from north to south continues as Americans pressed by high gas prices drive into Mexico where fuel is half the price of U.S. stations. Even as nativists vilify undocumented Latino workers for crossing into the U.S. in search of a better life for their families, U.S. citizens are crossing the border to stock up on cheap fuel--and breaking Mexican laws in the process. This AP article has more details:

The city of Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas, said Friday that it fined four U.S. residents for carrying extra diesel and would impound their cars until they pay.

The fines equal 70 percent of the value of the diesel confiscated.

U.S. drivers can fill up their own vehicles, but carrying extra fuel containers back across the border violates customs regulations and possibly safety rules, a report from the city said.

Mexico, one of the world's top 10 oil producers, sells diesel fuel domestically at subsidized prices of about US$2.25 per gallon, about half the U.S. price.

Mexican filling stations near the U.S. border have seen an increase in American drivers who cross over to fill up.

Mexican truckers and drivers complain the run on fuel is causing temporary shortages and longer lines for them.

(Copyright ©2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The self-righteous "rule of law" folks who whine "illegal is illegal" are keeping mum on this one.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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