"What do you suggest people use for ID? Passports?"
The reader's question seems to suggest that since an illegal immigrant was "deprived" of a conventionally accepted ID, that it was the responsibility of the City of Los Angeles to accept as official, the Matricula Consular ID.
Short answer: Any person with a Matricual ID should be treated as if he/she didn't have an ID at all.
Illegal immigrants should use IDs issued to them by their native country for use by the authorities of that country. That is what the Matricula Consular card was meant for in the first place. Matricula Consular cards are issued to illegals by the Mexican Consulate when they to return to Mexico by international carrier. The card is meant to identify the individual as a Mexican National to Mexican Authorities in lieu of a Mexican Passport.
But Los Angeles should not officially recognize these cards.
Constitutionally, citizens are not required by law to carry identification when they are just walking down the street, but they are required to have identification in certain situations -- for example, a driver's license when driving a car.
But legal residents (green card holders) and visitors such as tourists, must always carry on their person, federally mandated identification showing that they are in the U.S. legally. Any local, county, or state officer has the right to ask for this identification when there is probable cause to do so. But illegals do not have acceptable IDs, and technically are prohibited by federal law to work or live in the U.S.
I do not suggest that the LAPD go around randomly targeting any particular group to check IDs, but in the case where someone is required by law to show a legally accepted ID, such as when a police officer asks for your driver's license when you have gone through a red light, the procedure should require the same type of verifiable ID for everybody and should be non-selective -- that is, no law officer should take into consideration the persons ethnic appearance.
Say for example that you accidentally left your wallet with your driver's license at home one morning and were stopped by a police officer for going through a red light.
You would not have much to worry about, because after telling the officer who you were, he could simply do a "make" on you from his car or motorcycle. Sacramento would have you on record and the officer could cite you with information based on the verified information just received. Moreover, Sacramento would know if your were a wanted fugitive.
But if you were stopped for any valid reason, and you could not provide any verifiable identification, a police officer would not know if you were a serial killer or other kind of fugitive. But he would have probable cause to arrest you just on the charge of driving without a license. He would be derelict in his duty if he didn't.
If there had been some mistake and you could later prove who you were, you would have been inconvenienced, but you would nevertheless be cleared.
If on the other hand the authorities could not verify any information on you, a wider investigation by other authorities such as the INS and FBI, using fingerprint data, wanted data, etc., should be launched to see if you were an international fugitive.
If no criminal history about you could be retrieved but you were found to be only an illegal alien, then you should be turned over to the INS and let them decide what to do. Maybe the INS would chose to ignore the whole thing, but at least the LAPD would have covered their butt.
So to answer you question, anyone found to have an unverifiable ID should be treated the same as if they didn't have any ID at all.
As mentioned, this should not be selective policing -- everyone should be treated the same. But of course since most people without IDs in Los Angeles are Hispanic, the police would be accused of targeting Hispanics. But such accusations should not be a reason not to enforce the law.
Bear in mind that proper identification is not only necessary to identify criminals and fugitives.
Many people are unaware that one of the important reasons for the 1994 California legislation requiring applicants for driver's licences to have valid social security numbers, was for the purpose of tracking deadbeat dads.
Stressing that the vast majority of illegal aliens are neither criminals nor deadbeat dads, L.A.'s (and L.A. County's) acceptance of unverifiable Matricula IDs held by illegal immigrants, attracts Mexican deadbeat dads from Mexico. Any Mexican father who wants to abandon his responsibility to his family, need only to illegally immigrate to Los Angeles where our leaders virtually welcome them. Some Mexican deadbeat dads become bigamists and form new families in Los Angeles (my wife and I know of one case). Should a one-time deadbeat dad want to again become a deadbeat dad in Los Angeles -- no problem -- L.A. County and City attorneys have no way of going after him if he is not in any of their databases.
But the Matricula ID is not only a "free pass" for illegal alien criminals and deadbeat dads, it is also a free pass for American citizen and legal resident criminals and deadbeat dads who already have valid California IDs.
The Mexican government recognizes dual citizenship. If the citizen or legal resident criminal or his mother is from Mexico, the Mexican Consulate will be happy to provide him with a supplemental Mexican Matricula ID. If a criminal who already has a valid California ID switches to the Matricula Consular ID with false information on it, he has virtually assumed a new identity. Such criminals and deadbeat dads are careful to leave their California driver licenses home.
Taking the cue from the county supervisors and the city council members, many banks, including Wells Fargo, B of A, and Citibank, are now accepting the Matricula Cards in lieu of a social security identification to allow illegal aliens to open accounts. These banks are in violation of the new Patriot Act which was legislated after 9/11 to prevent criminals and terrorists from laundering money -- bank depositors MUST provide a social security number! Banks have discovered that their quest to put profit over national security has up till now, been ignored.
But banks could end up victims themselves.
Take this scenario: An illegal alien Mexican National or even a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent obtains a half a dozen Matricula IDs (Last week, the INS busted a Mexican in possession of three of the IDs, each with different information but all had the same picture of the guy). To obtain multiple Matricula IDs, the card seeker simply purchases multiple forged birth certificates and goes to as many different Mexican Consulates (Southern California has about six of them) as he has forged birth certificates and obtains a Matricula ID from each of the Consulates -- of course with different information on each card. He can then write bad checks overdrawing the accounts. But not to worry, he simply forfeits the account and opens a new one in another bank. The bank cannot trace the person if the information on the card is false. The cheat can open as many bank accounts as he/she has sham IDs.
In case your wondering, Mexican Consulate officials cannot share background information on any of the Matricula ID holders, not because they don't necessarily want to, but because they themselves don't have background information on the applicants.
Los Angeles is not only a criminal friendly city, but it is also an illegal alien deadbeat dad friendly city.