Texas State Rep. Lyle Larson wants Mexico to repay billions of dollars the state spends annually on healthcare and other services for Mexican nationals in Texas illegally. According to the San Antonio Express News
, Larson said it’s time for “an adult conversation” with Mexico about compensation.
“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,” Larson wrote in a letter to Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
The Express News reported Tuesday that Larson’s letter cited a report from the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas setting the uncompensated cost for state services for an estimated 1.6 million illegal Mexican immigrants at $6 billion to $8 billion a year.
Six years ago, a state report said illegal immigrants paid $513 million in state taxes, but cost local governments $1.3 billion for healthcare and $141.9 million in jail costs.
Separate estimates put the state cost of educating the children of illegal immigrants at $4 billion in 2005.
Gov. Rick Perry billed the federal government last year for $349 million to cover the cost of keeping illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in state prisons.
An immigrant rights organization criticized Larson’s letter as politically motivated.
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