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Howdy Doody ID Card Accepted Here By: Bobby Eberle
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 17, 2003

Just when you thought we were making strides in homeland security comes another frightening reminder of how little seriousness is being placed on monitoring those who enter our borders. Introducing the Howdy Doody ID card -- also known as the Matricula Consular card.
The Matricula Consular (MC) card is not new, but it's gaining increased recognition as more and more politicians and citizens recognize how the MC card could be used by illegal aliens and potential terrorists to gain entry into America. The MC card is essentially an identification card which is issued by Mexican consulates to Mexican nationals. It is not a travel document nor is it a driver's license.
Mexicans who are legally in the U.S. have no need for an MC card because they already possess appropriate identifying documents such as a passport or green card. It is the illegal aliens who are eagerly waiting for their own MC card. As more and more businesses and institutions accept the MC card as a valid means of identification, illegal aliens are going to be more and more likely to use it.
The MC card does not give the bearer any legal status in the U.S. It is simply an ID card. It carries about as much weight as an ID card to the Howdy Doody Fan Club. Perhaps if I put my picture on my Blockbuster card, I could get into FBI headquarters.
According to the Consulate of Mexico in Boston, one of the requirements to get an MC card is to present a valid Mexican birth certificate. Give me $25, and I'll get you a "valid" Mexican birth certificate too. That and a U.S. mailing address are all you need. There are no background checks of any kind involved with getting an MC card. Simply supply the appropriate paperwork, and you have your own Howdy Doody ID card.
If businesses accept the MC card over other forms of valid identification (identification having more requirements) and it is easy to obtain, then we are essentially granting illegal aliens a "legal" status in the U.S. by allowing them to conduct transactions, purchase goods, or whatever else would take place at the accepting business or institution.
Rather than closing loopholes and cracking down on ways for terrorists to enter the country, we are now making it easier through the increased acceptance of the MC card. Now, individuals possessing an MC card can enter and conduct business in federal buildings. We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting the terrorists in.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently issued a statement praising the fact that individuals who carry the MC card will now have access to the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.
These buildings are headquarters for FBI offices as well as other agencies which may be tempting targets for terrorists. In addition, by accepting the MC card, we are sending the wrong message to illegal aliens. As Americans we should welcome immigrants with open arms, and we do... as long as they enter our country legally. The MC card is but another disincentive to curbing the flood of illegal aliens.
In responding to Rep. Pelosi's statements, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), a leading advocate in the fight against illegal immigration, is quoted in the Washington Times as saying, "There is no one in the United States of America that needs a [Mexican-issued] ID card other than someone who is here illegally or someone here who is a felon."
The MC card is currently not recognized by the federal government. However, some local governments have elected to accept the MC card as a valid form of identification. This will certainly lead to problems under the "equal protection clause" of the U.S. Constitution which requires that all laws be enforced equally.
The greater acceptance of the MC card also sends the wrong messages to Americans. Are we serious about protecting our borders and fighting the war on terror? Are we serious in cracking down on illegal immigration? Statements by legislators such as Nancy Pelosi send the wrong message.
It's hard enough to fight a war on terror and combat illegal immigration as it is now. Let's not make it any easier.

Bobby Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA (www.GOPUSA.com), a news, information, and commentary company based in Houston, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.

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