Durham council supports police accepting Mexican IDs
Posted November 15, 2010 10:31 p.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2010 11:20 a.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — The Durham City Council voted on Monday in favor of police accepting identification issued by the Mexican government as legal ID.
The resolution, which passed 5-2, cited IDs like the Matricula Consular.
During the meeting, the council heard from members of the community.
Some argued that the ID cards, which are issued by the Mexican government to nationals living in other countries, are an important way for some to establish identity.
“It’s one way you can show who you are, so it's a security issue actually,” Pila Rocha-Goldberg said.
Others argued that it creates more immigration problems because cards are issued to people whether they are legal or illegal residents of another country.
William Gheen fears the IDs are a way to “avoid prosecution or deportation for their immigration crimes.”
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez Sr. said accepting the IDs would help with investigations and enforcement.
Mayor Bill Bell also supported it.
“It becomes another tool which appears will allow the police department to more effectively perform their policing duties,” Bell said.
Two council members, Eugene Brown and Howard Clement, disagreed with the council voting on the issue on Monday.
“This is a federal issue that, in my judgment, is above my pay grade,” Brown said.
The meeting became heated when the council announced that it would only hear comments from Durham residents.
The Mexican-issued IDs would not count as a valid driver's license in the U.S. If pulled over, a person with only a Mexican ID could be cited for driving without a valid license.