Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2001
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
Letter to President George W. Bush on Laser Visas
The Honorable George W. Bush
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW'
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr President:
I am writing you to implore you to issue a "Presidential Order" to grant Mexican citizens a one year extension for them to obtain the new "Laser Visas."
With recent events in Washington and New York, I understand why some in the federal government are hesitant to allow this extension. But you, Mr. President, understand more than most in Washington how much the people coming over from Mexico mean not only to the border economy but all of Texas.
In 1998, the Mexican citizens who visited Texas spent approximately $2.2 billion dollars in our great state alone. It is estimated that almost 2.5 million Mexican citizens still have the old-style border crossing cards commonly know as "micas." Some say they have had plenty of time to get the new laser cards, but from my understanding, there is a tremendous backlog for the individuals who have applied.
This has been an extremely trying month for this country, but as you have said, we need to get on with our lives and try to return to normalcy as much as possible. The whole country is feeling the effects of the September 11th tragedy, especially in terms of the economy slowing down. On top of that, the people of South Texas have had to deal with the September 15th collapse of the Queen Isabella Causeway which took 8 lives and has closed the only way vehicles can go on or off the Island. This has already resulted in layoffs and closures of businesses, but we are working hard to get the bridge rebuilt as soon as possible.
The one thing the border business community has always been able to count on is our friends and family members from our great neighbor from the south coming over and buying American- made products. We must not allow this revenue stream to be cut off, as the effects will ripple throughout the Texas economy, all the way from the border to Dallas, Houston, and back to the state capital.
Again, I understand the feeling of insecurity in the country right now, but we must show the criminals who perpetrated these terrible acts upon our great nation that we will go on and we will retain our freedoms and rights. We have always shared a great relationship with Mexico, as they have always welcomed us to their country and we have welcomed them to ours.
Any consideration you can give us in this matter will be greatly appreciated. God Bless you and thank you for being so strong at a most difficult time.
Eddie Lucio, Jr.