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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, January 23, 2003
1:18 PM

Mexican IDs, CNS-style: This from Cybercast News Service (aka Conservative News Service):

The Bush administration's coziness with Mexican President Vicente Fox is causing some members of the Republican Party to express frustration over immigration policy.

"You've got an administration and the two parties that recognize a political advantage to massive immigration and/or economic advantage," said Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who chairs the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. "The Democrats see it as a potential source of voters; the Republicans see it as a potential source of cheap labor."

One of the biggest bones of contention is the ID cards issued by the Mexican government to illegal workers in the U.S. and, now, the Bush administration's efforts to extend Social Security benefits to illegal Mexican immigrants.

The Mexican government has undertaken a campaign to lobby states and localities to accept the ID cards, called matricula consulars....After an employee of the Mexican consulate went around Tancredo's home state making presentations to law enforcement agencies and local governments about the merits of the matricula consular, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R) fired off a Dec. 27 letter to the Consulate General of Mexico pointedly asking whether the employee should register as a foreign agent "due to certain activities, such as lobbying state legislators and representing the consulate in matters involving press relations."

But wait, there's more:

According to the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, one plan under discussion between the Social Security Administration and Mexican officials would allow Mexicans who lack enough years of work in the U.S. to qualify for Social Security benefits to count time worked in Mexico as time earned under Social Security. Another possible plan, according to Schlafly, would allow Mexican immigrants with falsified Social Security numbers to nonetheless receive benefits. Schlafly believes such plans could prove costly to American taxpayers. Tancredo says such a policy would be unjust.

"What that means is that it is very possible to have a person who has worked in the United States illegally, getting a higher monthly Social Security benefit than a person who worked here legally for the same amount of time," said Tancredo.

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