In her closing statements opposing House Bill 33 (Consular Documents Not Acceptable as ID) Rep. Deborah Ross, (D-Wake) said “Language means a lot to me. Anybody who is from Mexico or Honduras or all of these different things – they are also Americans. They might be South Americans or Central Americans or whatever. But, if we are going to throw around the word American and then discriminate against other Americans I would appreciate it if people would say North Americans because we have a lot of different countries in the AMERICAS.”
Here is a NC Renegade video of Ms. Ross’ comments:
The members of House Judiciary Subcommittee A heard from supporters and the opposition to House Bill 33. According to the bill summary, “the matricula consular and other similar consulate or embassy documents are not acceptable for the purpose of establishing identity or residence for governmental and law enforcement purposes.”
Carlos Flores Vizcarra, the Mexican Consul General for the Carolinas, addressed the committee to oppose the legislation and explained that the matricula consular is issued only to Mexicans living abroad to identify them as Mexican citizens. He described the process by which a Mexican citizen obtained the card and said that the “applicant” would need three original documents to prove the person’s identity and residency. He explained that the cards were good for five years and cost $27.
James Johnson of NC FIRE and Ron Woodard of NC LISTEN spoke in favor of the bill. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Woodard stated that only Mexicans in the United States illegally would need a matricula consular since those here legally already have documentation that identifies them. Mr. Johnson described a mobile operation organized by the Mexican Consulate to distribute matricula consular that distributed the IDs without verifying the supporting documents and then provided voter registration applications to the participants as they left.
An amendment to the bill allowing the use of the matricula consular for proof of residency to obtain car insurance was defeated and the Committee voted in favor of HB 33 in a party-line vote of 7 Republicans to 4 Democrats. The bill will now go to the full House for debate and vote.