New Mexico's two senators, Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, want to expand the strip along the U.S.- Mexico border that is open to qualified Mexican nationals.

As the regulation now stands, Mexican nationals with Border Crossing Cards, or Laser Visas, may travel 25 miles (40 kilometers) inside the United States for 30 days.

The system is meant to make it easier for "frequent, low-risk visitors" from Mexico to shop and visit relatives in U.S. border communities.

"While this has had a positive impact on many border cities and towns in other states, in New Mexico the 25-mile limit keeps the state's three largest border cities - Las Cruces, Lordsburg and Deming - from receiving the same economic benefits," the Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday.

Their bill would expand the zone to 75 miles.

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