Tamara Gibbs, WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durham), Nov. 10, 2010
Durham’s city council is getting an earful over a controversial plan to allow Mexican immigrants to use a special Mexican ID card for Mexican citizens living outside Mexico.
The [Matricula Consular] card is accepted as ID by many police departments nationwide, and many banks accept it for financial transactions.
According to an opinion from the Durham City Attorney, “the official purpose of the card is to demonstrate that the holder is a Mexican citizen living outside of Mexico. It includes an official Government of Mexico issued ID number and bears a photograph and address of the Mexican National to whom it is issued.”
If Durham approves the resolution, city officials would accept it as a legal form of ID for business conducted with the city. Police officers would also accept it for identification purposes.
But some see the plan as an endorsement of undocumented workers, while others say it will save time and taxpayer money.
Mexican advocacy groups like El Centro Hispano in Durham are pushing for the idea. But since word of the plan went public, city council members have found their mailboxes stuffed with messages from people who hate the proposal.
Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation says he fears the ID card has been oversold as a valid form of identification.
And, that’s just one problem, according to critics. They also say the card could be a roundabout way for undocumented workers to vote.
“That could be the path that leads from this card to the official document–to being able to vote–and I think for voter integrity that’s a concern a lot of folks should have,” said Kokai.
City council members have less than a week to consider feedback from both sides of the debate. They’ll vote on the controversial issue November 15.