The Republican Texas state representative who made headlines earlier this month with his demand that Mexico repay the cost of services provided to illegal immigrants is taking his concerns to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“We need to have somebody intercede on our behalf,” Larson told The Daily Caller. “We’ve spent over three decades now requesting the federal government step up and secure the border and control the illegal immigrants flowing into the state. We haven’t seen any meaningful change in the immigration flow.”
In a letter Larson sent to Clinton this week, the state representative made his case for a “bilateral” conversation with Mexico about the costs and burden associated with illegal immigration.
“In addition to working to secure the border and to effectively address illegal immigration, the U.S. government must also make a sincere effort to reduce the financial burden associated with hosting illegal immigrants on the states and provide support to the border states to address any other bilateral issues that arise,” he wrote in his letter to Clinton, cc-ed to President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, and Texas Rep. Francisco Canseco.
Larson explained to TheDC that he is approaching the State Department rather than the Department of Homeland Security because he sees it as an international issue — putting the cost burden on those nations, specifically Mexico, whose citizens have entered the United States illegally.
He is hoping for a “meaningful dialogue” about the situation.
“Everybody’s fixation in this argument has been focusing on our federal government,” he said, “that has failed all the states. Now let’s go to the source point of where the illegal immigration is resonating from and it’s not only resonating, its encouraged and facilitated by a country that has a zero illegal immigration policy in their own country.”
The Texas state representative also provided Clinton with a copy of the letter he sent March 21 to Mexican President Felipe Calderón pointing out the high cost — between $6 billion and $8 billion annually — and offering ideas for how Mexico can repay Texas.
“The stated intent of the letter is to start a dialogue with the Mexican government to determine how to ensure Texas receives compensation for providing public services to illegal immigrants from Mexico,” he explained in his letter to Clinton. “The larger objective of this effort, however, is to encourage President Calderón to make a sincere effort to begin discussions with the U.S. to develop a strategy to finally secure our shared border.”
According to Larson, the cost burden on Texas and other border states from illegal immigration is unsustainable and must be addressed. His solution is to seek reimbursement from Mexico and, if funds are not available, he recommends that Mexico foot the bill by granting America access to its natural resources.
“Parochially, as we in the Texas Legislature work to balance our budget in light of record budget shortfalls, it is clear that spending several billions of dollars on services to noncitizens is unsustainable,” he wrote in his letter. “This is the motivation behind my request that the Mexican government reimburse Texas with natural resources if they are unable to provide monetary compensation.”
One of Larson’s colleagues, Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, has criticized the effort, saying that Mexico is not the only country whose citizens are in the country and that Larson’s effort to coordinate with Calderon is unconstitutional, as “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power.”
Larson told TheDC he hopes to convince every country with a significant number of citizens illegally residing in the U.S. to chip in, but added that Mexico “is by far the largest culprit.” On the constitutionality of his endeavor, Larson said, “the federal government is the one that should take the lead, there is no doubt about it.”
A DHS spokesman could not verify to TheDC that they had received the letter yet.