A state legislator is taking the unusual step of corresponding directly with the leader of a foreign nation.
Republican Texas State Rep. Lyle Larson is calling on Mexican President Felipe Calderon to reimburse Texas for services used by illegal aliens.
In a letter he revealed Tuesday and sent in late March, the San Antonio legislator requests that Mexico pay Texas back for the annual $6 billion to $8 billion he said that Texas spends on health care, education and other public services for the estimated 1.6 million illegal immigrants in the state.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Larson does not expect a response from Mexico. However, that did not stop him from offering Mexico suggestions for how to pay off the tab.
“If Mexico is unable to provide monetary compensation, we should be open to discussing other forms of payment,” Larson said, according to News 4 WOAI. “Mexico could provide payment for these services by allowing U.S. companies to develop mineral rich areas of northern Mexico and collect these resources as an in-kind payment.”
He added that the development would provide “high paying jobs for Mexican citizens, while allowing Mexico to pay Texas back for the services we are rendering to citizens of your country.”
The San Antonio Express News reports, however the the Mexican embassy is denying that Calderon received the letter.
“As a matter of principle, we do not provide comment on letters we have not received,” Ricardo Alday, embassy spokesman said.
Last legislative session Larson sponsored a bill to require publicly funded health services determine a patient’s country of origin. The state would then require an illegal patient’s country of origin to reimburse the state for those services. The proposal did not make it past committee.