Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS STATEMENT FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 11, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXTEND VISA LASER CARD TO MEXICANS APPROVED

AUSTIN, TX -- The Texas Senate today gave its thumbs up to a Resolution by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. encouraging the U.S. Congress to enact the Secure Border Crossing Card Entry Act of 2007 to extend the laser visa length of stay from 30 days to six months granting Mexican visitors parity with their Canadian counterparts.

"Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 is a way for the Legislature to show support to our Texas Congressional delegation," said Sen. Lucio.

The federal Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, would extend the length of stay to Mexican visitors to support the economic needs of Texas with the goal of successfully balancing national security with the benefits of legitimate trade and travel.

President and CEO of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, Bill Summers, said, "According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, from Brownsville to El Paso, more then 120 million visitors cross a year from Mexico into Texas. According to surveys, they spend on average $152 per person per trip. For the state of Texas, that amounts to $3 billion in total expenditures; $417 million in taxes collected; and 63,314 jobs created."

Sen. Lucio added, "We have been approached by several businesses and the banking community along the border to carry this bill."

Mr. Summers compared the dollar value of U.S. commerce crossing the border during one month at Laredo, Texas from Nuevo Laredo equal to the sum value of U.S.-China trade for an entire year.

Note. Mr. Nick Pesina, Research Analyst for the IRT Committee, handles this legislation for Sen. Lucio, 512-463-0385.

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