Eating the elephant, one bite at a time

[UPDATE: the first article has disappeared. Here's the cached version. (The cached version appears to have disappeared as well. Here's the letter at Tancredo's site.) The second article appears to have disappeared, and no cache is available. The third article is still there.]

This article on ID cards given out by the Mexican government to illegal aliens in the U.S. has some moderately good news:

The Mexican government, despite concerns by U.S. law-enforcement authorities and immigration officials, is handing out thousands of identity cards to Mexican nationals in this country, including those here illegally...

"The most important thing to understand about these Mexican matriculas is that they are almost absolute proof that the bearer is an illegal alien," said Dan Stein, executive director of the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform...

Last week, in a letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, 12 House members questioned the propriety of the cards, describing them as an "issue of enormous significance that has massive implications for the nation."

The lawmakers said that in addition to Mexican authorities, officials in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras had increased their efforts to provide "identification cards to their nationals living illegally in the United States." They also said Mexico had undertaken "a massive lobbying effort" to persuade local authorities to accept the cards for identification purposes.

"While the issuance of national identification cards is nothing new, providing them with the express purpose of evading U.S. law is something entirely different," the lawmakers said. "The active lobbying of local and state governments by consuls of foreign countries is, at least, a breach of international protocol deserving of a serious response by our government."

Would you like an example of that lobbying? Here:

"Oxnard is poised to become the first city in Ventura County to allow Mexican immigrants to use their country's identification card to do business at city offices... County supervisors unanimously agreed in October to adopt a similar resolution, saying it would make it easier for Mexican nationals residing here to obtain marriage certificates, business licenses and other services....

Mexican Consul Fernando Gamboa said his Oxnard office issues about 1,000 identification cards a week to Mexican immigrants in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Immigrants are more likely to report crimes and cooperate with police if they know they have some form of identification accepted by authorities, he said. Gamboa said that illegal immigrants could not use the cards to obtain government benefits, alter their legal status or get driver's licenses.

Acceptance of the card is vital because officials are looking more closely at identification cards since 9/11, he added.

Gamboa plans to lobby the cities of Ventura and Camarillo for similar resolutions."

In more slightly good news:

PHOENIX - Some Arizona lawmakers are pressing for tougher laws dealing with illegal immigrants.

Legislators are proposing everything from requiring police officers to turn them over to immigration officials to blocking colleges and universities from accepting them. Another proposal would reject identification cards issued by Mexican consulates as valid identification.