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U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 16, 2004

[ ... ]

QUESTION: And on Mexico. President Fox called yesterday to the U.S. Government to stop the rates on Mexican immigrants in the U.S. And I understand, the Embassy of Mexico has sent a dramatic note to the State Department today --

MR. BOUCHER: To stop what?

QUESTION: The rate of illegal immigrants.

MR. BOUCHER: Into the United States.

QUESTION: In the United States, is what he called it yesterday.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't -- I'm sorry, I didn't see the statement. I'm not specifically clear on what we're being asked about. We'll have to look it up and see if there's anything to say.


MR. BOUCHER: Okay? Sir.

QUESTION: Can I come back to the letter?

MR. BOUCHER: You can come back to whatever you want.

QUESTION: Are you going to respond to it in any way?

MR. BOUCHER: I think I just did.

QUESTION: But are you going to respond to them?

MR. BOUCHER: I think I just did. They had a press conference, issued a public statement. I just made a public statement and let that be it. It's not a long letter. I mean, it doesn't require a 20-page response. We'll look at it, but it's a pretty short document; it stakes out a position. That's within their rights, within their freedom, within, probably -- well, it's a free country. They can do that if they want, just like any other citizen.

QUESTION: You don't attach any extra significance to it because they actually have many years behind them in either the State Department or the military services?

MR. BOUCHER: They do have many years behind them.

QUESTION: And it doesn't give any added significance to their remarks?

MR. BOUCHER: People of all stripes and experience in this country stand up and make statements and take positions. I don't think I need to single out those that are taken by former diplomats or former generals. [ ... ]

[ End ]