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November 15, 2010


Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Great post. Thanks for going over the issue so thoughtfully.

Rodrigo "El Justiciero" Dorfman

Yes - very thorough and educational.

Please remember that lots of Latinos also use their local Credit Unions (not just banks) to manage their financial needs and that the The Latino Credit Union has been at the forefront of helping immigrants empower themselves through financial education. Check out this big article about our local Durham branch from the N&O:

Thanks for the post! And remember to open up the lexicon.

Tar Heelz

Good post. Thanks.

Question now is whether this ID is an accurate authenticator. (I have heard otherwise in the past, but I don't know.) Unfortunately, my guess is that your excellent point regarding authN and authZ will never appear in the public debate.


I'm not sure whether the NC Freedom quotes you cite make me want to laugh or cry. This kind of inflated, conspiratorial, revolutionary rhetoric is so beyond the pale . . . . and becoming increasingly common as its embraced and repeated by Tea Partiers and mainstream conservative & right-wing politicians and media. This is the kind of rhetoric that will eventually lead to violence. "Radical insurgent troop divisions" launching "assaults" on the Durham city council? Raleigh has been under "enemy occupation" for a century? I think we need another rally to restore sanity.

James M. (Wanna Be Durhamite)

What a REFRESHING read on a political issue! I wish EVERY political issue that gets the masses so 'up in arms' could be explained in this way. Let's bring that mountain (of misinformation and fear) back down to a mole hill (of understanding) and let's talk sensibly about it. I think if there's any 'enemy occupation' it is by those who reverberate fear and misinformation over issues such as this, without really considering the proc and cons of each decison aloud. Well Done!


Kind of reminds me of when the supposedly "law and order" NRA tries to loosen gun regulations, even against the advice of police chiefs nation-wide.

I think a lot of these "patriots" have been sitting inside watching "news" programs and eating cheeze doodles for too long, and have gone a bit bonkers as a result. Time for them to put down the remote control, get up off the couch, go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe even meet some actual people along the way... it does wonders for one's sense of humanity!


Great Read.

As a durham resident, My concern is with the efforts and procedures that the Mexican Consular has in place to confirm the authenticity of the person standing in front of them vs the information placed on the Matricular Consular Card. My other question is how is this different than a passport? Are the requirements less stringent? If they are less stringent, then I think that raises major red flags right there - and we should be concerned as a community.

Overall, I agree that the rhetoric is rather silly, when the issue is broken down to it's true intent - but i think as a community we should be concerned about allowing a document that is potentially less secure than a passport to identify individuals become a part of our daily lives.

Rob Gillespie

I think the matricula is carried because the thought of carrying one's passport with them at all times is a scary proposition. If you lose the passport, you can look forward to a long, drawn-out process in trying to get a new one.

Every foreign national I know keeps their passport locked in a safe at home (or, even in a safe deposit box at their bank). I know quite a few foreign nationals, most of them from Asia and all of them here legally on work or education visas, and none of them carry a passport. The cost of getting it stolen or lost are too high.

American citizens utilize a drivers license for day-to-day identification. These are easily faked as well. How many undergraduates, here in Durham and across the nation, have a fake ID proclaiming that they are 21? The matricula is at least as secure as a driver's license, and for identification purposes it should be treated as such (notice I said identification, possession of a matricula should not qualify one to drive a car).



The equivalent of this?

What does mexico require for identification from US Citizens?

I still have concerns about the lengths the mexican government goes to confirm the identity of individuals - and really think that until the US Gov't confirms the Matricular consular meets US ID Requirements, don't think we should have done this - But I think we know how the vote turned out last night now, lol - So not much i can do about it



The author is unfortunately ignorant about the security of the Matricula Consular card. It is not checked against E-Verify or any US criminal database and there is NO database in Mexico to check it against. Anyone can apply for the card and the information they provide is NOT checked.
The data on the card has a better than average chance of being false. Therefore, the argument that it will help Police identify who they stop is ridiculous.


When a police officer stops someone and they present a Matricula Consular card, it should immediately register to him/her that the person they stopped, is in this country illegally, because the only people that need a Matricula Consular card are illegals. Everyone who is in this country LEGALLY, already has the proper documentation, ie: a current passport, a current student visa, a current "green card" and these documents MUST be carried at all times, that is the LAW!

Bull City Rising

@NCFIRE: You know, I heard something amazing the other day. Teenagers -- teenagers! -- are forging these documents in order to look older and buy alcohol. And they look just like drivers licenses!  I am shocked that official documents can be forged.

Most conservatives detest the idea of any kind of national ID card in America, though that is common in every other country. Yet Mexico has a single national ID card for non-residents and we are worried it is not comprehensive enough?

As to the traffic stops: see the earlier point about the fact that police are not deporting illegal immigrants on sight. Yes, a matricula is a sign someone is not here legally. But I for one do not want Durham police deporting everyone they stop. That is not the kind of law and order I have signed up for in my community.

Tar Heelz

BCR wrote: "Yes, a matricula is a sign someone is not here legally. But I for one do not want Durham police deporting everyone they stop. That is not the kind of law and order I have signed up for in my community."

Aye, there's the rub.

This debate has nothing to do with AuthZ, AuthN, ease of carry, etc. Heck it has nothing to do with this ID at all.

1) Should we actively enforce existing immigration law?
2) Should violators of immigration laws be prosecuted (and potentially deported)?

If you answer "no" to either of those, you're probably fine with la matricula. Those who answer "yes" to both, will likely find the recognition of this ID offensive.

Seth Vidal

Thanks for this write up and thank you for using the terms AuthN and AuthZ in an article not about IT.


This is an issue the state legislature is going to have to decide, to override local politicians pandering to illegals by making it state law that a consular ID is NOT a form of ID that supplants the passport, visa, or student ID cards.

Durham police don't deport anyone. It is their responsibility to charge and/or detain people without proper ID, depending on the circumstances, and notify federal authorities if they suspect someone is here illegally. I sure hope those who are stopped driving a vehicle have a driver license, regardless of where they're from, and that no one is suggesting a consular ID should take place of it.


I think it's a cop out for these "legal" Americans...It's a way of "taking their country back". It's fear of being the minority...It's fear of being surrounded by people they choose not to care about because they're not like them...It's discrimination...I love it how they LOVE to use the word "Illegals" or "Aliens" to describe them. Love it!

I guess we all should leave this country since we are in fact all “illegal aliens”. And why are they so mad at the people for wanting a better life, like our ancestors did and fought for so that they and all of us can have it?

Who they should really be blaming is the companies that hire the undocumented workers so that they can pay them below value and not give them benefits...They wouldn’t be coming here illegally if they knew they could not get a job...They don't want to make it about that though...That’s the real ISSUE they don't want to see...No one likes outsourcing except the big money people who want to make an extra dollar without being taxed for’s a form of outsourcing that these businesses are running...I see it all the time even with these National real estate builders that hire undocumented so that they pay them under the table, no benefits, work them 7 days a week, and because they're undocumented, they can pull stunts like these because of the fear the worker will lose their job or get caught if they ever stood up or spoke up...They can just get rid of them if they can't work in the conditions and hire the next undocumented worker...So those of you worried about them "taking your jobs"...think about the businesses and the scam they run...they already take the jobs of the documented immigrants who went through the process...let's talk about the REAL issue of immigration...Not about the people and your disregard for their different faces, language, culture, or hard work.


I just don't understand. You say, "I suspect they'd love for cities like Durham to be using police forces to directly crack down on illegal immigrants and using all powers possible to find and arrest such persons simply for being in the country illegally." What would be wrong with Durham's officers, who are sworn to uphold the law, arresting someone for being here illegally if they find that out in the normal course of keeping the peace? If a person is here illegally then he is a lawbreaker, isn't he. I can't think of a law I am allowed to break. How can you just ignore the law. If you don't like the law, then work to get it changed, but how can you defend breaking it? If immigration law is worthless, then why does any law matter?

Bull City Rising

@Diane -- if a person whos in the US illegally commits a crime and is arrested by the DPD, the Durham County Sheriff (which operates the jail) can and does coordinate and cooperate with ICE to begin deportation proceedings.

The question I am asking is, if someone is driving without a license (which is an offense that typically draws a violation/ticket), should they be arrested and deported? What about someone jaywalking? Double-parked?

Essentially, if someone is committing a Durham-based crime that is subject to arrest and incarceration, they can be deported. Expanding that criteria to include everything for which someone can be cited essentially makes city police front-line troopers in the immigration battle. Do you want local law enforcement in that role, such that effectively every illegal immigrant in Durham has no incentive to cooperate with the police for fear of deportation?

If Durhamites do not like the policy, elections afford a chance to change it (since City Council sets policy on such things), but I for one would not hold my breath.

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Thanks for this write up and thank you for using the terms AuthN and AuthZ in an article not about IT.

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