Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sonoma County Sheriff's Department To Accept Mexican Consular ID Cards As Valid Identification

Several law enforcement agencies in California began accepting Mexican consular cards as a form of identification for undocumented immigrants.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 25, 2011

Sonoma, California - On Sunday, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department announced it will begin to accept the Mexican consular card (Matricula Consular) as a form of identification for undocumented immigrants that come into contact with deputies during investigations or other occassions. Usually, when deputies or law enforcement officers came into contact with undocumented immigrants for what ever reason and they couldn't produce a valid form of identification at the scene, they were taken into custody. The undocumented immigrants would get fingerprinted, their information was shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for a criminal background check and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under Secure Communities would automatically share the information. ICE would then place a hold on those detained without proper ID's.
The Sonoma Police Department who contracts with the Sonoma County Sheriff will also accept the Mexican consular ID's to help reduce overcrowding in the jail. Undocumented immigrants will be cited for minor offenses, instead of holding them for long periods of time costing the Sonoma County millions.
So far, the Mexican Consulate in the area confirmed that about 400 Mexican nationals have been issued the ID. Recently, a group of law enforcement officials were invited to the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco to learn about the Matricula Consular and to ensure officials it has anti-fraud features.
The Mexican Consulate request applicants to submit a passport, fingerprints, photo or birth certificate inorder to vertify the identity of the applicant.

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