February 9, 2003

RE: Strong support for use of consular registration (matricula consular) as a form if identification

Dear Councilman Zine,

My wife and I strongly urge you to support permanent acceptance of the consular registration offered to Mexican Nationals as a valid form of identification for government transactions. 

The Mexican government, via the leadership of President Fox, has utilized its embassies
to ensure that only those with valid birth certificates receive this identification.  The
identification is only offered to those who present proper documentation in person.   

Opponents have expressed concern that it poses a violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause because such identification from other nations is not accepted.  However, no other government has used its embassies in the United States to offer such a card to their citizens living in the United States.  If other governments act proactively and provide the same safety mechanisms that Mexican government offices in the United States currently do, then they should also be afforded similar treatment and approval.

When I first obtained my California driver's license I used my Mexican birth certificate because I was an illegal alien.  That is no longer possible.  However, during the twenty
years that my mother worked a minimum wage job using a false social security number not many people cared about equal protection under the law.

Nobody cared that her wages went to social security program under another person's name and thus she would not collect any of the benefits. Nobody cared that taxes would be collected on those wages but the returns that she was entitled to under her tax bracket never collected out of fear of deportation.
Nobody cared that the taxes were used to support public programs such as welfare.  We always qualified for but never applied for nor received such benefits, again out of fear.If you want to enforce equal protection this is where to begin.

Private enterprises such as banks, airlines, landlords, and telephone companies are already accepting this form of identification.  They understand the market principles that these people not only represent purchasing power but also labor, an indispensable element in a Capitalistic economy.  In order for Capitalism to sustain a healthy economy we need free trade not only of goods but also of labor. 

The reality is that those who are here illegally will not voluntarily leave, just like I never left.  From a practical standpoint it is better for the city and the LAPD for these people to have some form of identification instead of none at all.

I am now a citizen, registered voter, and homeowner in your district.  My wife will be a registered voter by the time your current term expires.  We respectfully request your support in allowing permanent use of the consular registration forms for Mexican Nationals.


Name Withheld (MBA)