Last Updated: Fri, 06/04/2010 - 3:08pm
In a baffling development, a major U.S. county is allowing Mexico’s government to operate a satellite consular office to offer the area’s illegal immigrants identification cards that will facilitate life in the United States.
It gets better. Mexican officials kindly asked the Homeland Security agency charged with immigration enforcement not to enforce the law in the area while the cards—known as Matricula Consular—are being issued this week. One U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official claimed to be amazed that the “Mexican government has the gall to tell us what to do.”
Even more amazing is that the federal agency is obliging and that officials in the nation’s most populous county—Los Angeles—are even allowing it to happen. The Mexican consular office is operating on Santa Catalina Island, a small resort community located about 22 miles off the Southern California coast with a population of about 3,000. The majority of the residents on the L.A. County island are illegal immigrants from Mexico.
The Mexican consul's office first offered the photo identification cards to illegal immigrant workers on the island two years ago. Incredibly, the easily forged Mexican Matricula cards are widely accepted as ID in the U.S. and can be used to apply for government services, establish credit and open bank accounts. They have also been accepted to fraudulently obtain home loans from some of the nation’s top lenders.
A few weeks ago, the Mexican consular office in Los Angeles issued a flier advertising this week’s effort to issue Matricula cards to as many illegal immigrants as possible. The event was originally scheduled for the Catalina Island Country Club, but was later moved to a nearby church because a Republican congressman who represents the area warned that State Department permission is required to host a foreign government. Churches are supposedly exempt under the the Vienna Convention.
Accommodating illegal aliens is nothing new in the Golden State, which has numerous sanctuary cities and police departments with don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policies. Last year two California Democrats introduced legislation to make the Mexican identification cards accepted as an official form of ID, carrying the same weight as a U.S. government-issued identification for official transactions. The proposal is opposed by the National Notary Association because it would permit its 50 million members to rely solely on the Mexican cards to verify a person’s identity even though the FBI has deemed them unreliable.