PRESS STATEMENTTuesday, April 3, 2018Contact: Jacob Weinberg | Jacob@tnimmigrant.org
HB 2312 Would Ban Consular IDs and Non-State Issued IDsNASHVILLE - This morning, the House State Government Committee passed HB 2312, one of the country’s most restrictive and discriminatory identification proposals, by a voice vote, introduced by Representative William Lamberth (R-Cottontown).
HB 2312 prohibits any government agency from accepting forms of consular identification, making it difficult for immigrant families to access critical services and verify their identity in routine encounters with law enforcement. It will also further marginalize vulnerable Tennessee citizens by prohibiting the acceptance of any non-state issued ID for identification or to establish residency. If it becomes law, it will create significant barriers for Tennessee citizens and residents to interact with their government, waste local law enforcement resources and undermine public safety, and further marginalize already vulnerable Tennesseans. By giving all people better access to local institutions and services, consular and other forms of IDs are a lifeline for vulnerable groups, such as people experiencing homelessness, low-income elderly, people with disability, mental illness, and other individuals.
The following is a statement from Stephanie Teatro, Co-Executive Director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:
"This bill is cruel, extreme, and unnecessary. The legislation will drive thousands of immigrant families into the shadows, undermine public safety, and create significant barriers for local governments to identify and connect with their residents.
This legislative committee just insulted Tennessee's largest trading partners by suggesting their national identification isuntrustworthy and unacceptable, and insulted our local law enforcement by implying they are incapable of verifying the authenticity of these IDs or knowing when it would be appropriate to accept them.
We urge subsequent committees to defeat this discriminatory and disastrous legislation."
- Consular IDs are internationally recognized forms of identification with strict safety and verification measures. Countries that issue consular ID cards include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, and Mexico, among others.
- The most common form of consular ID cards are issued by Mexican embassies and consulates, which issue the cards to Mexican citizens living abroad to keep track of its citizens for consular and tax purposes.
- The matricula consular is “one of the most secure documents issued by the Mexican government.” Applicants who have a criminal record, are subject to prosecution, or face a judicial or administrative process in Mexico are not eligible for a consular ID.
- The requirements to obtain a consular ID are the same as those to obtain a passport, with the addition of proof of residence within the consular district. “Supported by a centralized system to avoid duplications and confirm the authenticity of required documents and information,” the card’s features include biometrics, tamper-proof holograms, and embedded identity data on a cryptographic chip. For more information about Mexico's consular ID card see here.
TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state. Since its founding in 2001, TIRRC has worked to develop immigrant leadership, build the capacity of its immigrant-led member organizations, help immigrant community members understand and engage in the civic process, and educate the public about policies that would better promote integration of new immigrants and facilitate their full participation in US society. In just a few years TIRRC has grown from a grassroots network of community leaders into one of the most diverse and effective coalitions of its kind, a model for emerging immigrant rights organizations in the Southeast and throughout the United States.