Published: Nov 06, 2010 09:30 PM
Modified: Nov 06, 2010 09:37 PM
Is an official Mexican ID official enough for Durham? The City Council will decide Nov. 15.
Members sounded ready to approve the Matricula Consular as a valid ID at a Thursday work session, but the council deferred formal action until its next regular meeting at the request of Councilman Howard Clement.
"I need more information," he said.
Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, director of El Centro Hispano in Durham, had hoped the council would adopt a resolution recognizing the Matricula Consular on the spot, but she was not worried by the delay.
"We've been working hard on this," she said. "We can wait."
According to the resolution, foreigners in the past could qualify for a North Carolina driver's license to use as ID if they had a federal Tax Identification Number. Now, applicants must have a Social Security number, but still need to prove their identities on occasion.
The Matricula Consular is a standard document issued to Mexican citizens and recognized under international law, said Carlos Flores, Mexican Consul General for the Carolinas, who attended the work session with Rocha-Goldberg.
"The government in Mexico normally would accept an identification document ... that is issued in the United States to an American citizen," he said. "We are arguing for reciprocity."
Durham is the first North Carolina jurisdiction where authorities have been formally asked to recognize the Matricula Consular. Clement wanted to know why, since Flores's office is in Raleigh. Flores said it was because groups in Durham were already working on approval when he began his job a year ago.
"I'm very proud that you started here," said Councilwoman Diane Catotti. "We have a very active El Centro Hispano and Hispanic community."
Deputy Police Chief Steve Mihaich said the department would accept the Matricula Consular "as it would any other out-of-state ID.
"We've met with the Mexican consulate and conducted training" for officers on the document and how to test it for authenticity, he said.