Mexico Slams Tancredo

Article excerpt

Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Mexico slams Tancredo

Mexican Ambassador Juan Jose Bremer has accused Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, of insulting his country through the use of props at a press conference last week.

Mr. Bremer, in a letter to Mr. Tancredo, objected to a poster that he said gave the appearance that Mexican diplomatic missions in the United States issue identification cards to illegal aliens so that they can open bank accounts and skirt U.S. immigration laws. He also complained that Mr. Tancredo used a photograph of Mexican President Vicente Fox at the news conference.

The ambassador said "such unbecoming behavior, which additionally constitutes a lack of respect for my country's institutions, is neither acceptable nor honorable of your investiture as a member of the U.S. Congress."

He said, "Your publicity maneuver presenting a poster as if a Mexican [consular ID], purportedly issued by a fictitious office 'for the issuance of illegal alien ID' and using the photograph of the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox constitutes an excess which, deep down, confirms your campaign's lack of seriousness regarding this document, as well as the inconsistency of your arguments."

Mr. Tancredo has warned repeatedly about the use of the consular IDs, known as "matricula consular" cards, to aid illegal immigrants and expressed fear that they could fall into the hands of terrorists.

At his press conference, he announced that he had introduced a "joint resolution of disapproval" to veto new Treasury Department regulations that would allow banks to accept the matricula consular cards as legal identification. The regulations are due to take effect Friday, unless Congress blocks them.

Mr. Tancredo, chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, said the cards are used by immigrants who do not have legal visas or permanent residency status.

"Since only illegal aliens would need to carry such cards for identification purposes or need them to open bank accounts, the regulations indicate that the Treasury Department is out of step with the American people and AWOL in the battle to stem the epidemic of illegal immigration," Mr. …