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Los Angeles Times on Matricula Consular cards

Jennifer Delson and Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times cover the latest on Mexico's Matricula Consular cards (aka "IDs for illegals") in "Mexico's ID Makes Major Gains in U.S.".

They report that other countries are getting into the act, including Colombia, Argentina, El Salvador and Honduras. They don't offer word on whether, for instance, Yemen has similar plans.

It features quotes from James Ballentine, outreach director for the American Bankers Association and a Blue Cross spokeshole ("They were wage earners who had money... a great source of potential customers").

And, College of William & Mary professor George Grayson says that Bush refuses to do anything because he doesn't want to alienate Latino voters. Of course, there's also the fact that he's corrupt, but I guess the LAT ran out of space.

Now, let's deal with the LAT's biases:

The matricula's growing acceptance... also highlights the contradiction between immigration laws, which forbid the presence of undocumented workers, and immigration reality, which encourages them to spend their paychecks here...

Well, actually, that's wrong. The conflict is between what the U.S. citizens and many legislators want, and what corrupt politicians are able to do. In Bush's case, he simply refuses to enforce the immigration laws. In the case of other corrupt legislators, they push through laws giving rights to people who shouldn't be here in the first place. There's no "contradiction"; there's a conflict between Americans and those with "conflicted views."

They also provide this quote:

It "is a de facto amnesty," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that favors tighter immigration controls. "It's a way of incorporating illegals into our society. It allows [the immigrant] to embed himself in our institutions."

I believe that the LAT takes that as the basis for their inaccurate subtitle:

Use of the matricula consular is helping many to assimilate, which is one reason those against illegal immigration oppose the card's use.

Somehow I don't think Krikorian was refering to the same kind of "assimilation" that the LAT headline writer is; perhaps they should consider whether they're lying to their readers for future articles.

They also report on corrupt local officials:

Several local governments across the state — including Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Ventura counties — accept the identification cards as valid identification for county services and programs. The cards can be used for admittance to a hospital, to obtain a federal tax identification number and to borrow books from libraries.

Now, if the LAT wanted to do some real reporting, they'd look into that in a bit more depth. Why would those localities do that? Is it because the local Boss Hoggs profit off that illegal labor, and the local officials do what they want? Is it because those local officials stand in solidarity with people of their same race, putting their race above their country? The LAT also doesn't mention that Mexican consults attend local council meetings pitching such laws.

I look forward to reading some real reporting from the Los Angeles Times in the near future.

Immigration2005b · Tue, 09/27/2005 - 11:59 · Importance: 1

Wed, 09/28/2005 - 03:11

This is a pretty mundane article about the transparently absurd issue and acceptance of these cards inside the US. The most noteworthy things about it are that it has a stupidly weak (partial) definition of "assimilate", and in general it's more than a little pathetic la Times had nothing better to take up the space with.