NEW ID LAW IN ARIZONA STIRS WORRIES FOR IMMIGRANTS
Starting July 20, state and local government entities in Arizona no longer will recognize the photo-ID cards issued by foreign consulates. Known as “matricula consular” cards, the IDs are issued by some foreign governments to their citizens living in the U.S. irregardless of their immigration status. The cards are often the sole form of photo identification for people living in another country who do not have a passport or a local driver’s license. The law would forbid, for example, a city from accepting a consular ID card as the only required identification to get a library card or a police officer accepting the card as an official means of identification during an investigation.
Some state lawmakers have been trying to pass the law for years as part of a larger push to keep illegal immigrants out of Arizona. They say the ID cards are too easy to fraudulently attain and give the inaccurate impression that all cardholders are in the country legally. Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, who sponsored SB 1465, said the law stemmed from concern that the Mexican government does not adequately verify the identity of individuals before issuing them a card.