...Beauprez founded Heritage Bank in the early 1990s, becoming chairman and CEO as the company grew to 14 locations and more than $400 million of assets. He stepped down after being elected to Congress in 2002.
In 2004, Beauprez broke ranks with the other Republicans in Colorado's congressional delegation and voted in favor of an amendment that allowed banks to accept the matricula consular cards from their customers. Heritage Bank, like many others, accepts the IDs from Mexican citizens who want to open an account or take out a loan.
"He voted to maintain private financial institutions' ability to use those cards," said John Marshall, spokesman for Beauprez. "Private business needs to enforce their due diligence on hiring employees, but they shouldn't be forced to become immigration police."
Marshall said Heritage began accepting the Mexican IDs after Beauprez left the bank. His wife, Claudia, however, still serves on the bank's board.
"Bob has no role (in the bank)other than being a shareholder," said Marshall.
The legislation that Beauprez supported was a bipartisan bill that also had the support of the Bush administration. Still, most Republicans in Congress opposed the bill, including Coloradans Tom Tancredo, Joel Hefley and Marilyn Musgrave. Beauprez was one of 49 Republicans who voted with Democrats to pass the bill.
...A loan application on Heritage Bank's Web site says the bank will accept the matricula consular cards along with one additional form of ID, including a birth certificate, passport or major credit card. Many of the country's largest banks now accept the Mexican IDs.
...Marshall insisted that Beauprez's vote was a principled one against regulatory burdens on business. He also emphasized that Beauprez had left Heritage Bank before it began accepting the IDs.
"It's a fair question whether folks ought to be allowed to use (the cards)," Marshall said. "The fact is (that) it wasn't Bob's decision."
Immigration · Wed, 08/16/2006 - 08:39 · Importance: 1