Hal Netkin, PO Box 3465, Van Nuys, CA 91407
LAwatchdog@pacbell.net, Tel 818-989-2201

ATTENTION: Congressman Darrel Issa

December 5, 2004

Dear Mr. Issa:

You may recall who I am. I met and shook hands with you at the August 13, 2004, Temecula town hall meeting. I was the guy who handed you my fake Matricula ID which you inspected. Since I have read some recent news accounts that you might possibly help the Save Our License initiative, I felt certain that if I obtained for you personally, a fake Matricula, it would serve as a further wake-up call on the issue. So, I have enclosed your very own Matricula Consular ID (my compliments).

First let me say that there is no question that beyond breaking federal immigration law, most illegal aliens are not criminals nor do they pose a security threat to the U.S. The problem is that law enforcement has no way to tell the good illegal aliens from the bad ones. This is made clear by our Los Angeles Sheriff Baca's own study which shows that 23 percent of the county jail inmate population are illegal aliens who should have been deported before they had a chance to commit their crimes (see attachment).

Secondly, the only Mexicans who need a Matricula for the purpose of identification by local law enforcement, are illegal aliens. Others who have legal status already have the necessary documentation such as a Green Card or Passport.

This may come as a shock to you: I have two Mexican brothers-in-law who are in the U.S. illegally (had three, but one went back to Mexico) who all have "legitimately" obtained the older "unsecured"  version Matricula cards. And I can tell you that there was no criminal background check of any kind done on any of them.

The FBI says that 90 percent of the older version are in circulation (see attachment). The Mexican government does not have a recall program to exchange old ones for the new ones -- probably to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to track their own citizens.

As is the case with my brothers-in-law, most illegals who illegally cross our Southern border looking for work in the U.S. must pool up with others in similar situations in finding a place to live. For example, here in Los Angeles where the median price for a home is now over $375,000 and rent for a decent one room apartment is upwards of $700 / month, you can expect one dwelling to house many families and/or individuals. When one of my brothers-in-law arrived in Oxnard, California, to take a job as an ice-cream vender, he was one of 23 ice cream vendors all living in a small three bedroom house, each paying $60 / month rent. The address of this first house where he lived in 2001, is presently the address shown on his Matricula, even though he has moved four times since. Most Matricula card holders don't bother to inform the Mexican consulate if they change their address because there is no motivation or pressing need to do so -- nor does the Mexican consulate keep track of the movement of Matricula card holders. Once an illegal alien is issued a Matricula card, it acts as an unverifiable "free pass" -- in most cases, with hardly any way for the courts or law enforcement to trace the whereabouts of the card holder.

The Mexican government says that there is nothing unusual about its issuance of Matriculas. They say they have been issuing Matriculas to its citizens abroad for over 100 years. But the Mexican Government has never in the past issued the Matricula IDs to its citizens for the purpose of being an accepted form of identification by foreign governments -- that's something new. This was made clear to me by my wife, now a proud U.S. citizen, who was at one time an illegal alien from Mexico, who still has the expired Matricula that was issued to her by the Los Angeles based Mexican consul in 1989.

The principal reason that illegal aliens have acquired Matricula cards in the past (before the idea of Matricula ID recognition by foreign governments) was for the purpose of identification by the Mexican government in lieu of Mexican passports. Like all governments, the Mexican government requires anyone, including their own citizens,  traveling to Mexico's interior from a foreign country to have in their possession a passport.

But most Mexicans who are in the U.S. illegally wishing to return to Mexico do not have Mexican passports. Those individuals must obtain a Matricula Consular ID from the local Mexican consulate as identification in lieu of a passport. For this reason, millions of Mexicans hold the previously issued Matriculas presently in circulation which won't expire until sometime in early 2007.

The information I have given to you about the previously issued ID is well known by the "illegal immigrant" community. And even though it is laughable to think that a police officer who was shown a forged "secure" Matricula ID, would know it from a real one, the latest trend by those in need of fake Matricula IDs, is to order the "old" type. To make my point, I was easily able to obtain the enclosed "previously issued" type forged Matricula with your picture on it from a fake document vendor in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles (I supplied the downloaded picture).

Here are some facts about Matricula Consular IDs (old and new type): There is no fingerprint requirement, there is no criminal background check done by local law enforcement or the Mexican Consulate, and there is absolutely no way for local law enforcement to do a "make" on someone using the card.

In April of 2004, 88 illegal aliens boarded a Continental airliner at LAX using Matricula cards (probably fake -- god help us if they were real) as picture IDs and landed successfully at Newark Airport before they were arrested (play video clip on enclosed CD). The airline absurdly said that they checked every Matricula carrying passenger against a "no-fly" check list and they all checked out OK -- but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the names on fake Matriculas would not be on any check list. Although none of the illegals were terrorists, consider that anyone smart enough to learn to fly an airliner into a high rise building is certainly smart enough to disguise themselves as an illegal alien and use a Matricula Consular ID to board airliners.

Had Senator Gil Cedillo's license bill passed, any illegal alien using a fake unverifiable Matricula and a fake (or real) ITIN number, would be eligible for a California driver's license (See attached Daily News Op-Ed).

I urge you to back the Save Our License initiative,


Hal Netkin

P.S. Because my wife is a U.S. citizen, all three of my brothers-in-law could have immigrated legally (see the attached Op-Ed).

CC: Mike Spence