Mexico opens California office to provide ID for illegals
- Mexico opens California office to provide ID for illegals
By: _Sara A. Carter_
National Security Correspondent
June 3, 2010
The Mexican government is opening a satellite consular office on Catalina
Island -- a small resort off the California coast with a history of drug
smuggling and human trafficking -- to provide the island's illegal Mexican
immigrants with identification cards, The Washington Examiner has learned.
The Mexican consular office in Los Angeles issued a flier, a copy of which
was obtained by The Examiner, listing the Catalina Island Country Club as
the location of its satellite office. It invites Mexicans to visit the
office to obtain the identification, called matricular cards, by appointment.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican whose district includes Catalina
Island, said handing out matricular cards will exacerbate an already dangerous
"Handing out matricular cards to Mexicans who are not in this country
legally is wrong no matter where it's done," he said. "But on Catalina it will
do more damage. It's a small island but there's evidence it's being used as
a portal for illegals to access mainland California."
Rohrabacher added, "If there were a large number of Americans illegally in
Mexico and the U.S. consulate was making it easier for them to stay, Mexico
would never permit it."
Mexican officials with the consular office in Los Angeles could not be
reached immediately for comment. The matricular consular identification card,
is issued by the Mexican government to Mexican nationals residing outside
the country, regardless of immigration status. The purpose is to provide
identification for opening bank accounts and obtaining other services. But the
cards are usually used to skirt U.S. immigration laws, since Mexicans in
the country legally have documents proving that status, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement officials said.
In 2004 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI officials called
the card an unreliable form of identification. The agency said that Mexico
lacks a centralized database for them, which could lead to forgery,
duplication, and other forms of abuse.
Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said their
agency was asked by Mexican officials not to enforce U.S. immigration laws on
the island while the cards were being issued.
"It amazes me every time that the Mexican government has the gall to tell
us what to do," said an ICE official, who asked not to be named. "More
surprisingly is how many times we stand by and let them. This is just an example
of one of hundreds of requests we've had to deal with."
In April, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies seized a boat carrying
large quantities of marijuana and detained three Mexican nationals who said
they were being smuggled into the United States.
The island has a sizable Mexican migrant population. Most are undocumented
Mexican government officials _have moved their satellite consular office_
consulate-moves-illegal-immigant-ID-card-handout--95522664.html) from the
Catalina Island Country Club to a Catholic Church – citing protection under
the Geneva Convention.
Read more at the Washington Examiner:
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