Rohrabacher, Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus Introduce Secure I.D. Legislation

Jul 18, 2003
Press Release

Washington, Jul 18, 2003 -


Rep. Rohrabacher speaks at a press conference about the dangers of the Matricula Consular card.
Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R-AZ) and Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), join him.


Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, introduced legislation during a press conference on Capitol Hill today to ensure the security and validity of identification cards accepted by the federal government. Michelle Malkin, national syndicated columnist and author of "Invasion," attended the press conference, as well as Marti Dinerstein, President of Immigration Matters and a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, and Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., an internationally recognized resource for analyses of foreign and defense policy matters.

"This issue is extremely important for reasons of national security," said Rohrabacher. "The Mexican government is bullying local governments into accepting these cards as identification - in spite of the fact that these cards are not reliable identification, and the only individuals who have a reason to use them are illegal aliens."

Rohrabacher went on to explain that anyone in the United States legally has a visa, which can be used as reliable identification as it is issued by the U.S. government. In contrast, the Matricula Consular card is not reliable identification. Mexico has refused to allow biometric indicators (such as fingerprints) on the Matricula Consular card.

"This card would give illegal aliens a defacto amnesty," said Congressman Rohrabacher. "Accepting this as identification would allow illegal aliens drivers licenses, welfare benefits, and every other service that should be limited to US citizens. There would be no reason to become a citizen at all." Congressman Tancredo, Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus of which Mr. Rohrabacher is a member, spoke as well. "The Consular officials are lobbying state and local governments to accept these cards. Documents like the Matricula Consular, which are issued to Mexican nationals by the Mexican government, should not be accepted as proof of identification by state, local or federal agencies," said Mr. Tancredo.

H.R. 502, the Secure Identification legislation, would require identification cards that may be used in obtaining federal public benefits/services to meet restrictions that are 1.) secure and 2.) verifiable. Specific provisions of the bill would require federal agencies, including law enforcement services, to obtain the recipients proof of identification document in all cases where the identification document is not issued by a federal or state authority and/or verified by a federal law enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agency.

The Center for Immigration Studies published the first in-depth examination of the Matricula Consular and the role it plays in Mexico's attempt to shape U.S. immigration policy. The study, "IDs for Illegals: The 'Matricula Consular' Advances Mexico's Immigration Agenda," by Marti Dinerstein, describes the Matricula Consular as a "piecemeal approach to securing an amnesty for the 3 to 5 million Mexican illegal aliens in the United States, a strategy adopted in the wake of the new security environment in the U.S. after 9/11." The study notes that Mexico hopes the Matricula Consular will be accepted by governments and businesses across the United States, giving illegal aliens legitimate I.D. to present law enforcement and to open bank accounts, among other uses, thus helping bring about a de facto amnesty.

The integrity of the Matricula Consular was questioned recently when the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) suspended a pilot program in which a federal building in San Francisco accepted the Matricula Consular as valid identification to enter the building to access services. In addition, Rep. Rohrabacher and 11 House colleagues questioned the spread of the card in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell and called the lobbying by foreign consulates "a breach of international protocol deserving of a serious response by our government."