Matricula Consular cards
The "Matricula Consular" is an ID card issued by the Mexican government to their citizens. It's actually an old form of ID that wasn't often used until recently, when that government decided to give it to the millions of illegal aliens from Mexico who live in the U.S. in order to make it easier for them to send their money home via remittances. That government then began a campaign to get banks, municipalities and others to accept their cards as ID. Make no mistake about it: these cards are almost entirely simply "IDs for illegal aliens". Legal immigrants have no use for the card since they have legally-obtained identification which they're required to carry.
The Mexican government - and their U.S. enablers - are generally coy about the use of the cards and will only say that they're given out without checking someone's immigration status. However, one of their consular officials did admit what their real purpose was.
New York City has passed a law to give municipal identification cards to any qualifying resident of that city, regardless of immigration status . Like similar efforts in other cities, the real goals include building up a political power base for politicians and enriching major banks.
In the case of the NYC card, they're specifically covering up for future criminals and terrorists. Here are some of the issues with the card:
1. The Indiana law apparently seeks to criminalize cards similar to the Matricula Consular card. I haven't read Indiana's law, but if what the ACLU implies is correct, then Indiana made a mistake. Instead of criminalizing in one way or another the use of the card, they should have just prevented it from being used as official identification. Of course, the ACLU lies: MC cards are basically only of use by illegal aliens. They refer to "a visiting professor [using one of the cards to open] a bank account", when that's not what they're designed for. MC cards - an old Mexican card that had been rarely used before - were revived by the Mexican government to provide IDs for illegal aliens. (Now, perhaps the Indiana law is too broad and doesn't just cover bogus IDs designed for illegal aliens; in that case the authors of the law are to blame).
2. As always, the way to defeat the ACLU is to find a smart, experienced trial lawyer to engage them in debate on video with the goal of discrediting the ACLU to their likely supporters. The ACLU is serving the interests of foreign governments and crooked businesses, not of middle- or lower-class Americans. Driving that point home to their likely supporters would go a long way towards making them toxic and reducing their ability to file lawsuits against states trying to deal with illegal immigration.
3. In the above, don't expect the tea parties to be much of any help. None of them are capable of engaging even the least capable ACLU lawyer, in their two year history they've largely ignored the immigration issue, and their (real) leaders are on the wrong side. In fact, David Koch - a main stringpuller on the teaparties even if they don't know it - even joined with George Soros to give the ACLU millions of dollars. The money he gave them freed up resources that they now use to sue those who want to do something about illegal immigration.
4. Those involved with the case include many of those involved with the ACLU's suit against Utah: Omar Jadwat, Andre Segura, Cecillia Wang, Katherine Desormeau of the ACLU and Linton Joaquin, Karen Tumlin, and Shiu Ming Cheer of the NILC. Others are Lee Gelernt of the ACLU and Angela Adams of Lewis & Kappes, P.C. (Lewis Kappes).
 From aclu.org/immigrants-rights/
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the law firm of Lewis & Kappes, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit today challenging a discriminatory Indiana law inspired by Arizona’s notorious SB 1070. The lawsuit charges the law authorizes police to make warrantless arrests of individuals based on assumed immigration status and criminalizes the mere use or acceptance of the commonly used consular ID card. The groups charge that the law will lead to racial profiling and trample upon the rights of all Indiana residents.
“Indiana has created a law that not only tramples on the constitutional rights of Hoosiers, but also improperly involves Indiana in areas that are clearly of federal, not state, concerns,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana.
Some state lawmakers oppose the extreme law, saying it will increase law enforcement costs and deter both employers and employees from coming to the state. Indiana University has also expressed concerns that the law will discourage enrollment and academic participation, noting that the institution hosts thousands of foreign national students, faculty members and visitors each school year.
“Indiana has unwisely chosen to follow down Arizona’s unconstitutional path,” said Andre Segura, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “This law marginalizes entire communities by criminalizing commonly accepted forms of identification. The law also undermines our most cherished constitutional safeguards by putting Indiana residents at risk of unlawful warrantless arrests without any suspicion of wrongdoing, much less criminal activity.”
Immigration bills inspired by Arizona’s SB 1070 have been introduced across the country this legislative season, but Indiana is only the third state to pass the controversial legislation this year. The state becomes one of only four, along with Arizona, Utah and Georgia, to enact draconian state-based immigration laws. The ACLU, NILC and a coalition of civil rights groups filed lawsuits in Arizona and Utah. The most troubling provisions of SB 1070 have been blocked by a federal appellate court, and the Utah law has been blocked by the U.S. district court for the District of Utah, pending further review of the Utah district court.
The lawsuit charges that the Indiana law is unconstitutional in that it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and authorizes unreasonable seizures and arrests in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“By cutting off the use of secure foreign photo identification, the law has effectively denied foreign visitors, scholars and immigrants in general the ability to engage in important commercial activity,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center. “These secure forms of official identification, which can be used by a visiting professor to open a bank account or by a foreign national to provide proof of identification in a wide variety of settings, are vital to both immigrants and society. This provision, like the rest of the law, is misguided and will undoubtedly have unintended social and economic consequences.”
The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of three individual plaintiffs who would be subject to harassment or arrest under the law.
Attorneys on the case include Falk, Jan P. Mensz and Gavin M. Rose of ACLU of Indiana; Segura, Lee Gelernt, Omar C. Jadwat, Cecillia D. Wang and Katherine Desormeau of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Joaquin, Karen C. Tumlin and Shiu-Ming Cheer of NILC; and Angela D. Adams of Lewis & Kappes, P.C.
Additional information is available online at: www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/urtiz-et-al-v-city-indianapolis
The complaint can be found at: www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/urtiz-et-al-v-city-indianapolis-complaint
Mitch Daniels is weak on Indiana immigration bill, apparently only supports least effective parts - 04/13/11
Indiana state Senator Mike Delph is trying to pass an Arizona-style immigration bill in that state . In an interview , Indiana governor Mitch Daniels opposes the part of the bill that would allow police to ask about someone's immigration status during a "lawful stop, detention, or arrest".
While it's not exactly clear what specific parts of the bill Daniels opposes and supports , he appears to oppose the other law enforcement-related parts of the bill. Those would allow police who have someone in custody to check their immigration status with the Department of Homeland Security. And, all of this takes place as Daniels is pondering running for president (link), even being urged to do so by Joe Klein (someone who explicitly supports illegal immigration).
The only part of the bill that he supports in the interview is that dealing with sanctions on those who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Yet, getting a conviction for that is a very high bar to clear and happens only rarely. Companies know how to play games: claim that the documents they were presented looked valid, or use subcontractors, or simply litigate the matter endlessly. Through August of 2006, there were just 177 convictions in the entire U.S. for knowingly hiring illegal aliens . Whatever the current number is, it can't be that high. Obviously, it should be higher and the Department of Homeland Security should be aggressively conducting sting operations and trying to catch big employers. But, neither the Obama administration nor Daniels would support that.
Daniels uses two excuses to oppose the law enforcement parts of the bill: it wouldn't make sense to turn illegal aliens over to the feds if "the feds were going to turn [illegal aliens picked up by local law enforcement] loose anyway" and his claim that he was told only a few local law enforcement officers have the necessary training to deal with immigration issues.
Both of those concerns are bogus: if the feds won't accept illegal aliens then Daniels can publicly call them out, urge Indiana's Congressional delegation to get more funding, and perhaps even see about charging the feds for detaining illegal aliens.
And, as of 2006, the feds were only charging $520 for a five-week 287g training program. As of 2007, that training program was only receiving funding of $5 million (Lou Dobbs report: peekURL.com/vnNVAuC ). If Daniels were serious and weren't simply trying to placate pro-illegal immigration groups and corrupt businesses, he'd call to raise that limit. Further, it doesn't take much training to send the personal information of someone in custody to the feds to be checked for immigration violations; see Secure Communities.
 A summary of the bill from the author is here. Note that it also has provisions relating to eVerify, sanctuary cities, Matricula Consular cards, and conducting meetings in English. Whether Daniels supports or opposes those isn't clear, but it's likely he opposes them because they wouldn't be "good for business" if you know what I mean.
 The interview is here:
"I think that legislation will be changed," Daniels said in a wide-ranging interview with The Indianapolis Star Editorial Board. "I support this, to drop the law enforcement provisions that have been the ones that have bothered most people."
Surviving in the bill, he said, would be provisions aimed at employers who knowingly hire people who have come to the United States illegally.
"The idea I like is to deny them the tax deduction if they're caught doing it," Daniels said. "It's a fairly clean way to get at it, and really employment is the magnet that leads to the illegality."
Sen. Mike Delph, the Carmel Republican who authored Senate Bill 590, said, though, that some law enforcement provisions will remain under the proposed amendments. Police could arrest someone based on their immigration status, he said, if there is probable cause to think the person already has been ordered to be removed or detained by federal officials, has been indicted or convicted of an aggravated felony or willfully failed to register with the federal government as required.
That, he said, would focus the bill "on the ones we consider to be the really bad actors."
...The problem with the bill's initial provisions, which allowed police to check someone's immigration status if they had reasonable suspicion that they were here illegally, is that "it wouldn't work," Daniels said.
"We don't tend to believe in things that are policies that are emotionally satisfying to somebody but don't have any practical effect."
Daniels said Indiana State Police and others in law enforcement told him that because of training requirements, only a handful of Indiana police would be able to deal with immigration issues.
"If they accidentally caught somebody who was breaking the immigration law, the feds were going to turn them loose anyway," he said.
Focusing on employment instead of law enforcement eliminates the concerns -- "valid or not" -- that the bill would lead to racial profiling and people being targeted because of how they look and sound...
 The author of the linked article, Mary Beth Schneider of the Indianapolis Star, didn't respond to the three tweets and one voicemail I sent her seeking specific information on what Daniels supports.
 See the table here. I was unable to locate more up to date statistics, but if anyone has them please leave a comment.
Looking to capitalize on the growing remittance industry, largely fueled by illegal aliens sending money earned through illegal employment in this country, back home, the U.S. Post Office now offers a wire transfer service, but only to countries in Latin America.
The service, called Dinero Seguro (Sure Money) is being advertised in local post offices with posters showing a Latino family, along with the caption "for your wire transfer of funds back home."
He called their customer service line and was told that one acceptable form of identification was a Matricula Consular card, a virtual guarantee that the bearer is an illegal alien.
What that boils down to is that the US Postal Service has a financial stake in illegal immigration: the more illegal immigration, the more money they'll make. Needless to say, giving the federal government a profit motivation to support or ignore illegal activity is very dangerous and leads to political corruption.
At the end of 2008, Arnold Schwarzenegger launched "Bank on California", a California state program that encouraged the "unbanked" to open bank accounts. Since the "unbanked" are largely illegal aliens and since their wages are earned illegally, California's governor is using state resources to help private companies profit from illegal activity.
Now, Doug Irving of the Orange County Register offers "Poorest of poor urged to use banks" (link) about an affiliated local effort called "Bank on Santa Ana" (bankonsantaana.ca.gov). In his report, he tells his readers nothing about the immigration aspect and promotes the program rather than taking the banks to task. He mentions that the banks will accept Mexico's Matricula consular card as identification, without noting that that card is a very strong indicator that the bearer is an illegal alien.
As for those involved:
The city [of Santa Ana] and Orange County United Way are running the Bank on Santa Ana project. Eight banks and credit unions have signed up to participate and offer the special checking accounts: Bank of America, Bank of the West, Chase Bank, Citibank, Communidad Latina Federal Credit Union, Pan American Bank, Union Bank and Wells Fargo.
Please contact unitedwayoc.org/contact/contact.asp with your thoughts. Perhaps there's some way that their 501(c)3 status could be challenged due to this program.
I haven't looked into how much of the mortgage mess is due to financial institutions giving mortgages to low-wage workers, including illegal aliens from Mexico; for that, see Steve Sailer. Some but not all of it was, making the June 10, 2004 article from The Economist called "More Mexicans, please" (no author given; economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2752598) a cautionary tale about a) giving in to corruption, and b) trusting The Economist:
NATIVISTS in Texas and Arizona may still want to keep Mexicans out of America, but in the mid-west, far from the border, a growing chorus is calling for better integration of the large Mexican population that already exists. Employers need them, schools are full of their children, politicians seek their votes and, increasingly, banks want their money.
The integration push is already under way at the Mexican consulate in Chicago. Under a programme set up this spring by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (a government agency created by Mr Fox), daily lectures are held there on topics ranging from worker rights to banking and health care. From 7am each day, crowds of people line up to apply for an identity card known as a matricula consular, which is now accepted as valid ID by 800 law-enforcement agencies across America. As the matriculas have gained wider acceptance, doors have opened to immigrants in other areas, blurring the line between services available to legal and illegal Mexicans.
Now financial institutions are courting these hard-working people. No wonder: Mexicans sent $13.3 billion in remittances home from America last year (providing the second-largest source of income after oil), and three-quarters of those who remit funds have no bank accounts. A growing number of banks (118 nationwide, including 86 in the mid-west) now accept alternative forms of identification—generally the matricula card along with a taxpayer identification number—to open bank accounts. Thirty-three of the 48 American banks that offer international remittance services are in the mid-west, and America's bank regulators are encouraging the efforts. “Banks aren't so interested in the remittances, they're interested in the relationships,” says Michael Frias, an official with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). “They're looking at this as a long-term proposition.”
Indeed, and we'll be paying for the decisions made by the FDIC and those like them for a while. For more on this from around the same time as the Economist article, see this, this, this, and more recent examples of this type of corruption are listed on the immigration banks page.
The City of Los Angeles recently announced a new public-private partnership called "Bank on Los Angeles" (bankonla.com) that's designed to help 10,000 low-income residents who don't have bank accounts ("the unbanked") open up accounts. It's also open to illegal aliens , and that means that Los Angeles City will be encouraging corruption by helping major banks profit from money that was earned illegally.
In brief, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state of California are actively helping banks profit from money that was earned illegally.
Illegal immigration-supporting hack and Republican Congressman from Utah Chris Cannon will lose the primary election to Jason Chaffetz. With over 80% of the votes counted at post time, Chaffetz leads 60% to about 40%, so it's safe to call.
There are about forty posts at this site mentioning Cannon; use the search function to see them all.
Nine Latin American consulates in New York area join to push immigration agenda inside U.S. - 06/17/08
The New York-area consulates from nine Latin America countries have joined forces in an effort called the "Coalition of Latin American Consulates in New York." From this:
...the group plans to work together on issues they consider common to their immigrant populations _ from holding informational "consular fairs" and public health screenings to meeting as a group with U.S. immigration officials.
Mexico admits: Matricula Consular ID cards are for illegal aliens (Elizabeth Llorente/North Jersey Record; ACORN?) - 06/09/08
Seven reasons Kos (DailyKos) can't be trusted on immigration (+Quinnipiac University poll) - 03/27/08
Can you trust Kos of DailyKos (Markos Moulitsas Zuniga) on immigration? No, you can't. For some of the reasons why, take a look at "The big immigration backlash in Connecticut" (dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/27/113830/115).
1. He fails to note that, before working for the city of New Haven, Kica Matos headed a group that is/was working with the Mexican government to pass out Matricula Consular cards in that city. As with New Haven's cards, the MC cards let illegal aliens open bank accounts and the like. The bottom line in this case is the bottom line: that makes it easier for illegal aliens to send money home to Mexico and also allows banks to profit from money that was earned illegally.
2. He fails to note that the mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano, may have a financial interest in a local bank that would accept the New Haven ID cards.
3. The timing of the raid was certainly interesting and warrants more research. However, per the DHS (see the following NYT article), the planning had started months before the raid.
4. Kos fails to note that the New York Times article he links to ("Arrests of 31 in U.S. Sweep Bring Fear in New Haven" by Jennifer Medina, link) is heavily biased; the photo from that article was featured here.
5. The upper levels of the DHS may have intended there to be a "backlash". As with Kos, the Bush administration is a strong supporter of illegal immigration and Chertoff has hinted at conducting show raids in order to inflame the left and push for an amnesty. Kos doesn't mention that possibility.
What do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants working in the United States - Should they be offered a chance to apply for citizenship, OR Should they be allowed to stay as temporary workers, OR Should they be deported to the country they came from?
There are several problems with that question. For instance, it leaves off another option of simply enforcing our laws and causing illegal aliens to self-deport. The first choice is also extremely ambiguous: when should they be offered that chance? While they're living here? After they return home for a while (see the Pence and similar schemes)? After having returned to their home countries voluntarily but not as part of a particular amnesty scheme? And, the poll also fails to note all the ramifications of the various options, such as the role the first two would play in leading to more illegal immigration.
7. Kos says "The vast majority of the public isn't interested in what Lou Dobbs, Fox News, the federal government, and Rahm Emanuel are selling." Obviously, he's extremely confused. During the big push for amnesty - the one that was blocked by the American public - Fox News was largely silent. Lou Dobbs seems to support some form of attrition rather than the mass deportations possibly (once again, it's ambiguous) implied by the last poll choice. And, of course, the Bush administration is as much a strong supporter of illegal immigration as Kos. I guess that's so difficult for him to admit that he has to lie.
BONUS REASON #8: The poll refers to "illegal immigrants working in the United States", but that certainly doesn't include all illegal aliens. Perhaps millions of illegal aliens are non-working children, spouses, or other family members, with some percentage being unemployed and some other percentage being career criminals and the like. All or most of those would have been amnestied by various past immigration "reform" schemes. Needless to say, Kos doesn't call Quinnipiac on yet another issue with their poll.
Mexican official hits U.S. citizen while passing out Matricula Consular cards at public school? - 02/07/08
I don't know how much credence to give the possible assault charge discussed here, but a mobile Mexican consulate from their Santa Ana office held an event at a public school in San Juan Capistrano, California to pass out, among other forms of ID, Matricula Consular cards. Having to use one of those cards as ID is a very strong indicator of being an illegal alien.
An unidentified person who was apparently a Mexican government official told the Minuteman group they couldn't be there and couldn't take pictures.
Felipe Calderon explicitly wants Mexican consuls to meddle in U.S. immigration debate (non-profits) - 12/07/07
[Today, Mexican president Felipe Calderon] asked his diplomatic representatives in the U.S. to participate in the public debate on immigration by appearing at public events, talking more to the media and working with nonprofit groups to promote Mexican immigrants' role in supporting the U.S. economy.Several non-profit groups have direct or indirect links to the Mexican government, such as the ACLU, SPLC, AFSC, and MALDEF via membership in a group headed by Peter Schey, someone with a long list of links to that government. He also heads the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, which has been an occasional quote source for the MSM.
"The key is to neutralize this strategy of confrontation and discrimination that forms part of U.S. society's mistaken perception, and be able to newly focus arguments on the complimentary aspects of our economies," he said [to the consuls].
Another group is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, whose president serves on an advisory council to the Mexican president. That group helped organize some of last year's illegal immigration marches, and is in turn linked not just to Rod Blagojevich but also to the Blue America PAC (run by some bloggers).
Another frequent quote source, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, has a direct albeit somewhat minor link to the Mexican government.
New Haven's Junta for Progressive Action is/was collaborating with that government and sued to block immigration raids. Kica Matos, their former president, now works for that city and pushed through their efforts to give ID cards to illegal aliens. And, she's married to Henry Fernandez of the Center for American Progress.
Needless to say, there are many others.
In fact, it's difficult to find a non-profit involved in immigration matters that doesn't have some sort of a link, whether direct or first or second-level indirect. When nonprofit groups are involved in immigration matters in the future, it will be even more difficult to tell whether they're speaking for the Mexican government or not, and it will be even more important to attempt to call them on any links they have. In some cases their public funding should be eliminated, and if it applies they should be requested to register under the DOJ's Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Calderon's instructions came two days after he accused U.S. presidential candidates of "swaggering, macho and anti-Mexican" posturing. He also warned the U.S. Congress not to impose conditions on a $1.4 billion anti-drug aid package.Related:
Mexican diplomats meddling in our internal politics
"Mexico's Defense of Illegal Immigrants"
American Jewish Committee collaborates with Mexican government to support illegal immigration
Mexican consul meddling in Irving Texas (Matricula Consular cards to prevent arrests)
New York Times alludes to Mexican meddling via consulates (Little Rock)
Ramos/Compean trial transcripts; meddling Mexican consuls initiated case?
Nancy Pelosi didn't meet the meddling Mexican congressmen?
Dianne Solis, Alfredo Corchado, Dallas Morning News downplay Mexican meddling
More meddling by Mexican consuls
"Bush Bill Would Aid Mexico's Meddling in U.S."
"Mexico is meddling in US military"
The Consulate General of Mexico signed an agreement Monday with three U.S. banks that could make Mexican nationals more comfortable with the banking industry.Not all of those who'll become new customers for those banks are here illegally. However, the dodge the banks will use will be that they can't check someone's immigration status, even while they realize that those who use Matricula Consular cards (available from the friendly consulate) are most likely illegal aliens. Those banks will then donate a portion of their profits to politicians, who will then ensure that the banks continue to profit from indirect illegal activity.
Chase, Citibank and Laredo National Bank will take turns each day manning a desk in the Mexican Consulate on Navarro Street [in San Antonio]. They will answer questions for Mexican nationals about financial services and products with the hope of eventually turning them into customers at area branches.
"In other areas of the U.S. — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago — we have had a presence in consulates for years," said Inigo Arzac, assistant vice president and relationship manager for Citibank San Antonio...
Bank of "America" signs up customers at Dallas Mexican consulate
[Bill author, supervisor Tom Ammiano] said banking institutions in San Francisco have signaled their willingness to accept the municipal ID card for the purpose of setting up accounts. He noted that people without bank accounts are frequently more vulnerable to theft and robbery.At least the first two banks listed as well as the Federal Reserve have in the past taken steps to profit from indirect illegal activity: the money that illegal aliens earn by working illegally. And, in fact, the Bush administration fought to allow banks to accept Mexico's ID card which is only of use to illegal aliens. And, from the Bank on San Francisco page (sfgov.org/site/bankonsf_index.asp?id=46628):
Officials with the city's Bank on San Francisco program, which helps people obtain bank accounts, said institutions such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Washington Mutual and US Bank had expressed interest in accepting the ID cards.
Bank on San Francisco is a city partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank. Although criteria for opening bank accounts are set in part through the USA Patriot Act, "to our knowledge that law is not a bar to a municipal ID," said David Augustine, spokesman for the city treasurer's office, which oversees the program.
Accept alternative forms of identification, such as consular identification cards. For many immigrants, the barrier to opening an account is having the proper documentation.The banks aren't going to earn that much off this; I'd imagine that due to the cost of living in Frisco they don't have a high illegal alien population (except for those living 20 to an apartment in shifts). However, this could be used as an entree to other cities, such as Los Angeles.
As for Ammiano, I'm not familiar with him and I don't know whether he's just a soft-brained far-leftie or whether he's trying to get a piece of the pie. However, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he's received donations from those banks or he has some sort of other link. Those who live in the area are strongly encouraged to follow the money. His fellow supervisor Gerardo Sandoval is a strong supporter of illegal immigration.
Note that New Haven, CT has their own municipal ID. Their mayor John DeStefano has a possible financial interest and the person in his office who pushed the ID (Kica Matos) previously headed a group (Junta for Progressive Action) that is/was collaborating with the Mexican government.
UPDATE: The "Case Study" PDF at the sfgov link above has some interesting nuggets on the Bank on San Francisco program. First, they've got a section for those "thinking about starting something similar to Bank on San Francisco in your community", and I'm sure some are. As for how it all started:
Anne Stuhldreher, a Fellow at the New America Foundation, approached staff of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and City Treasurer Jose Cisneros with the initial concept. The Treasurer’s Office convened a working group of the staff of the Mayor and Treasurer, the Mayors Office of Community Development, New America Foundation, and EARN, a citywide nonprofit that helps low-income residents build assets. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco joined the group soon after hearing about the program.To participate in the program, banks have to accept those foreign IDs which are of use only to illegal aliens. And:
From further research, the working group learned that Latinos who are un-banked often don't realize that you do not need a social security number to open an account and that they can open accounts with Mexican or Guatemalan Identification cards.In other words, you don't have to be here legally to have a U.S. bank account.
As for government corruption at the federal level:
[at a meeting] Michael Frias, of the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation [sic], discussed how the New Alliance Task Force is helping banks learn about how they can accept the Matricula Consular Card and develop products and services to help Latino immigrants, save, send money to their home countries, and buy homes... The New Alliance Task Force is a partnership between the FDIC, the Mexican Consulate, banks, community-based organizations, federal regulators, the secondary market, and private mortgage insurance companies. The partnership has opened 50,000 new bank accounts totaling $100 million.In other words, something akin to a federal agency is collaborating with a foreign government to help nationals of that government who are here illegally get home loans, and is assisting banks to profit from money that was earned illegally.
Pro-illegal immigration performance art (funding by Bank of America and Wells Fargo)
Wells Fargo and illegal activity
remesamex.gob.mx features Bank of "America", Wells Fargo, and Western Union
Citibank "recruiting" illegal aliens for home loans
...In its first six months, the Mexican consulate based in Little Rock has seen the number of citizens it serves a day rise from 50 to 120, said consul Andres Chao.
The Mexican Consulate wants to send mobile units to Irving [Texas] to issue identification cards [Matricula Consular cards] to illegal immigrants to try to save them from arrest and deportation.
Irving Mayor Herbert Gears said the ID cards could prevent only a few arrests, but he promised to meet monthly with Consul Enrique Hubbard Urrea to review any complaints ste
More proof GOP is corrupt, lacks differentiation from Democrats (Giuliani, Minuteman flyer) - 08/07/07
Rudy Giuliani's southwest political director [Chris Gulugian-Taylor] left a top position [executive director] at the Nevada Republican Party last year after breaking rules by advertising a Minuteman border patrol rally in internal GOP e-mails.
The notices publicizing a "Stop the Illegal Invasion" rally in October 2006 outraged some Hispanic Republicans in the state, who said they feared it would alienate voters in the nation's fastest growing minority group just weeks before elect
Please do not choose the following video for the upcoming GOP debates.
...The office has faced heavy demand for Mexican passports and matricula consular identification cards since its official opening in April, he said.
The article "Mexican consul's biggest challenge is immigration" by Dianne Solis of the Dallas Morning News isn't as bad as other articles about a paper's local Mexican consul, but, as with the others, it avoids asking the tough questions, and it gives the consul an opportunity to make questionable statements unopposed. And, there's this:
The fastest-moving product [at the consulate] is the $37 matricula consular, a Mexican identification card, given at a clip of about 1,300 per week. But there are also birth and death certificates to issue. There are kiosks to spread the word on medical plans; videos that explain U.S. laws to lobby audiences; and a platoon of bilingual Bank of America workers who greet prospective customers in need of a special account to send money back to the homeland.
I'm currently trying to determine the exact relationship between the consulate and Bank of America; I'll update when I find out whether they have a satellite branch there or whether another branch sends their employers to go hang out in the lobby. In any case it helps show that money lies at the root of illegal immigration, and just how our system has been corrupted. Without the massive corruption of the Bush administration, banks would not be able to take those Matricula Consular cards, and BofA probably wouldn't be there.
The head of the outpost is Enrique Hubbard Urrea:
His father was fond of joking that the Hubbard surname was Aztec "for son of an Englishman," laughs Mr. Hubbard [editor's note: ho ho ho ho ho!]... Mr. Hubbard even personally answers e-mail from angry Texans... "Once in a while there is someone I can really get a dialogue with," Mr. Hubbard says. "But most are not interested in a dialogue. They just want to scream, yell and vent their hate. There is no other way to describe it."
I'm sure he's telling the truth! There's very little chance he could simply be trying to portray patriotic Texans who oppose an aggressive foreign government's attempts to profit from illegal activity as racist yahoos. Dianne Solis was right not to call him on that.
Bank of America loses contract over credit card for illegal aliens (Gaston County, NC)
Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis defiantly says won't cancel credit card for illegal aliens
The Bank of America boycott
Bank of "America": credit cards for illegal aliens
"Mexican Consulate seeking free [office] space [in Dallas]"
Increasingly, [Mexico's consulates] are also acting as influential free agents in a broken immigration system that Congress is trying to overhaul. As the consulate that opened last month in Little Rock illustrates, the Mexican government is following its citizens far from the border into the growing quarters of Latino migration, much of it illegal...Previously: over two years ago I first mentioned the planning for the outpost (with a Mike Huckabee link) and a month ago I posted about its grand opening.
...Consulate officials in Little Rock acknowledge that the 6,000-square-foot piece of Mexican territory occupying a former medical clinic serves all Mexican citizens, regardless of immigration status...
...The [Matricular Consular card] is honored in the United States by many police agencies, employers and - most important - by banks, which are used by countless immigrants to send billions of dollars home every year. But it is a lightning rod for critics of illegal immigration, who see it as a demonstration of the Mexican government's helping its citizens live in the United States illegally...
...There are 539 foreign consulates in the United States, and Mexico has more than any other country. (After Mexico, Canada has 19, Japan 17 and Britain 12)...
...[Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies] said Mexico went further than other countries that issue such cards, including the United States, by lobbying banks and law enforcement agencies to recognize the cards as valid identification, knowing full well that most legal residents would not need such a card...
...The [Matricular Consular card] was "one of the major areas of activity" at consulates, he said, adding, "The point being to 'document' the undocumented and make an end run around Congress."...
Continuing a trend of supporting illegal immigration, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano has vetoed a bill that would have helped prevent the use of Mexico's Matricula Consular ID card. That card is usually an indicator that the bearer is an illegal alien; legal immigrants have no use for such a card.
A controversial credit card program has led Gaston County leaders to reject Bank of America as the county's bank.
Gaston commissioners on Thursday declined to award a four-year contract for banking services to the Charlotte bank -- a decision that could cost the county about $120,000...
...[The credit-cards-for-illegal-aliens] aspect alarmed Gaston commissioners, who didn't want to support a company that supports illegal immigrants, said Mickey Price, the board's chairman a
Apparently a mobile Mexican consulate - from which our friends to the south distribute Matricula Consular ID cards - tried to set up shop at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa, California. A group of protesters from the Minuteman Project were apparently able to get enough support from the church members that the consul decided to pack up and leave after just a half-an-hour.
The Illinois House approved HR 1100 earlier today, which would give illegal aliens "driving certificates" which supposedly would (link to text):
clearly state on its face that it may not be accepted by any federal agency for any federal identification or other official purpose...
Former Republican Georgia Congressman Bob Barr - also an advisor to the ACLU, a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government - comes out in support of Bank of America's credit card for illegal aliens in "Immigration indigestion" (link). He ends up sounding like Bill Press, and makes the same fundamental error as he did:
When word surfaced recently that some banks, such as Bank of America, were allowing individuals to open accounts, apply for credit cards and obtain home mortgages even though they did not possess a Social Security number, it was not Big Government Liberals who rose up in arms to stop "greedy" financial institutions from offering such services. It was Small Government Republicans, like Colorado's Tom Tancredo and Californians Ed Royce and John Doolittle, who waxed indignant that banks engaged in such a free market activity as extending credit to someone who proved creditworthy but did not have a Social Security number.
The problem is that that isn't the "free market", it's the "corrupt market". Banks were not originally allowed to accept Mexico's Matricula Consular ID card, but the Bush administration fought to change that. That's despite both the FBI and the DOJ pointing out that the cards were not a reliable means of identification and would provide "an opportunity for terrorists to move freely in the United States". As detailed at the last link, the Mexican government is allowed to visit their outposts in the U.S. and distribute them like candy.
The "natural order" of things was not to accept those cards; political corruption and the Bush administration's support for corporatism led to the change.
Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis defiantly says won't cancel credit card for illegal aliens - 02/22/07
From this we learn:
The coalition is directed by representatives of 12 groups, including the Colorado Catholic Conference, Service Employees International Union Local 105, and the American Friends Service Committee.The AFSC has an indirect link to the Mexican government. And, CIRC's site is hosted at AFSC's site. afsc.org/central/ImmigrantRights/CIRC.htm has a list of their demands:
* driver's licenses for all immigrants, regardless of statusThe Mexican government - or the crooks who hire illegal aliens - couldn't come up with a better list of demands. Under their scheme, we might as well not have a border at all.
* in-state tuition for qualifying immigrants who graduate from state high schools
* statewide acceptance of the matricula consular identification cards issued by the Mexican Consulate as official ID
* defeat of English-Only bills similar to Amendment 31
* defeat of attempts to cut all Medicaid benefits to legal immigrants
On the 13th, CIRC visited Longmont and was hosted by a member organization, El Comite (director: Marta Moreno; development director: Carolyn Slauson). Details in "Immigration group to plan lobby efforts" by Ben Ready:
...During the meeting, CIRC members also will discuss rapid-response plans to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids...Despite being held at a public facility, one of those on the other side (Stan Weekes of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform) - as well as a photog from that paper - was kept out of the meeting, supposedly due to space concerns. And:
Immigrant advocates in Longmont and other communities will create contingency plans in case ICE executes more raids, Slauson said. Getting immigration lawyers access to arrestees in detention facilities, raising funds for their families and organizing peace processions would be easier if planned ahead of time, [El Comite development director Carolyn Slauson] noted.
"We don't want to be a coalition that just reacts, but that fights," Ross said in Spanish of CIRC's two-tiered plan to lobby legislators while also planning boycotts, marches and protests for the humane treatment of all immigrants. "We won't just sit with our legs crossed waiting for them to attack us.""Them... attack us?" Determining whether Ross has "issues" is left to the reader's imagination.
3/24/07 UPDATE: The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is supporting a week long boycott designed to show the power of "immigrants". It will end April 1. Participants are to take all but a minimum from their bank accounts, avoid sending money out of the country, avoid spending money, and... "[t]urn off televisions and use minimal electric energy":
CIRC’s Denver office has made dozens of media presentations and circulated 50,000 boycott fliers. Centro Amistad has circulated another 2,000. El Comité director Marta Moreno declined to comment when asked if her organization will participate in the boycott, but El Comité’s office had the flier posted on its front door Friday.
"At face value the program seems to be problematic," said Russ Knocke, a [Department of Homeland Security] spokesman. "It seems to be lending itself to possibilities of perpetrating identity theft or creating more risk for money laundering."Then, almost at the bottom of the article, we're treated to the news that another bank knows exactly who it's dealing with:
...[Rep. Tom Tancredo] said he sent a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking them to look into the program.
"I hope the administration will shut down this reckless and illegal program before Bank of America extends a line of credit to a potential terrorist," said Tancredo, a hard-line foe of illegal immigration...
Since then, Wells has opened more than 1 million accounts for Mexicans using the consular card. It also accepts Guatemalan, Argentine and Colombian identity cards. The assumption is that most immigrants using the cards to identify themselves are here illegally, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Trigg said, but the bank doesn't ask.
Bank of America is currently offering credit cards to residents of Los Angeles County who only have ITIN numbers and who don't have either a social security number or a credit history. That strongly implies that those credit recipients are illegal aliens. Later this year the bank hopes to expand the program nationwide.
For those who don't understand why this is horrifically bad, this bank is indirectly profiting from unlawful activity. And, they're explicitly going after that market. If you're one of those people who don't agree this is bad, imagine some form of illegal activity that you believe is bad for society. Then, imagine BofA going after that market.
And, the bank couldn't do this if they knew the government wasn't going to turn a blind eye to it. And, the bank no doubt donates to political candidates, and they will almost certainly only donate to politicians who will help the bank make more money.
Let's imagine that a few years from now BofA is making a handsome profit from this card. Then, some politician proposes forbidding banks from engaging in this practice. Do you think BofA is going to just let some politician cut off the money flow? Isn't it more likely that they're going to donate to those politicians who'll allow more illegal immigration and who'll support companies trying to profit from that indirect illegal activity? (A tangible example: when Tom Tancredo merely suggested taxing remittances, Western Union/First Data began publicly supporting - and funding - his Democratic opponent).
In summary, Bank of "America"'s actions rely on and will lead to political corruption. And, the bank would not do this if the Bush administration were not completely corrupt.
As for what you can do about this:
- Hopefully, BofA will eventually face both civil suits and criminal prosecutions for their scheme, and that might have a serious impact on their stock price. If you're a shareholder, express your concern. Even better, if you belong to a pension plan that invests in the bank, express your concern to the manager of the plan, and tell others to do the same.
- Watch for news reports and editorials concerning the card, and write letters to the ombudsman or editor, or leave comments.
- Contact your representatives and urge them to remove any loopholes that allow banks to engage in this activity or to investigate their activites.
- If you have any business with BofA, transfer it to some other bank; make sure they don't have a similar policy on ITIN numbers or Matricula Consular cards first.
- Stop supporting anyone linked to the Bush administration.
U.S. Treasurer wants Mexico to become even more reliant on remittances
Have Oklahoma banks admitted to aiding and abetting illegal immigration?
St. Peter Catholic Church, Jupiter Florida, supports illegal immigration
Arizona Republic almost does expose on Western Union
remesamex.gob.mx features Bank of "America", Wells Fargo, and Western Union
Profiting off illegal activity in Santa Ana, California
Georgia Sen. Sam Zamarripa involved with a bank
Bank of America was the title sponsor of the NCLR Annual Conference
Citibank "recruiting" illegal aliens for home loans
"Banks aim to help immigrants send money home"
Bank of "America"
Their money or your safety
UPDATE: An unconfirmed comment here says:
All of you Bank of America customers call the number on the back of your ATM cards and push ZERO to speak to a customer service representative. Then ask to fill out a voice of the customer form. The representative will enter your comments and it will get mailed to the quality assurance & customer satisfaction department. The bank takes these forms very seriously. Lodge your complaint and make your voice ring loud and proud to Bank of America President Ken Lewis.
UPDATE 2: According to this:
[Bank of America] executives said participants needed another form of identification, such as ID cards issued by foreign consulates.
In Mexico's case, that refers to the Matricula Consular card. In 2004, the Bush administration twisted arms to allow banks to accept that card as identification, despite both the FBI and the DHS admitting that the card was a security risk.
UPDATE 3: From this:
Bank of America wants all media inquiries about the credit cards for illegals program to be directed to Betsy Weinberger at 1-704-387-7376. This is your chance to be a John and Ken Assistant Producer for the day!
New Haven mayor and Democrat John DeStefano  is running for governor of Connecticut against Republican incumbent M. Jodi Rell. DeStefano has several links to a New Haven group called "JUNTA for Progressive Action" , a group which is collaborating with the Mexican government.  That group also has links to several other organizations and community leaders.
Perhaps the closest link is that DeStefano's campaign manager is married to the head of JUNTA :
As U.S. leaders craft policies to curb illegal immigration from Mexico, the U.S.