Saturday, July 19, 2003

Mexican consul wants ID accepted

Louisville asked to recognize document

By Javacia N. Harris
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The Mexican Consul for Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio was here Friday urging city officials to accept a card issued by the Mexican government as a valid form of identification.

Sergio Aguilera met with Mayor Jerry Abramson to discuss the matricula consular, an official document of identification issued by the Mexican government to citizens who live in foreign countries.

The card, also known as the Consular ID, includes the cardholder's name, date of birth, address and photograph. It can be used to obtain a bank account, purchase goods or services or for other transactions that might require identification.

The card does not replace a state government-issued driver's license or legalize undocumented aliens.

"The Consular ID is a very reliable document with a number of security features," Aguilera said at a news conference.

Along with benefiting Mexicans in Louisville, Aguilera said the Consular ID would give Louisville police a more reliable way of identifying Mexican immigrants who don't have driver's licenses.

The cards have hidden features to prove their authenticity that officials can detect using a special decoder. Aguilera said the Mexican consulate in Indianapolis would be willing to provide these decoders for Louisville police.

State officials in Indiana now recognize the cards as a valid form of identification and Aguilera hopes Kentucky officials will soon follow suit.

Critics of the card say the Consular ID is a threat to security, because it can be easily forged. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which seeks to limit illegal use of the card by requiring countries that issue them to people living in the United States to make sure applicants are legal citizens of the country.

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