Matricula consular ID card

by Fred Elbel

The Mexican matricula consular (illegal alien) ID card is now illegal in Colorado!

Mexican matricula consular ID card

When the Mexican government began issuing huge numbers of the non-secure Mexican matricula consular ID card in Colorado, the immediate reaction of the Colorado legislature was to pass HB-1224, the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act. You can read the entire bill on the Colorado Legislature website: Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (HB03-1224).

This was a notable step in the direction of immigration sanity.


It began in early October of 2002 when Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, without debate or public comment, ordered various City and County departments to accept the Mexican matricula consular ID card as valid identification.

U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo, an outspoken critic of illegal immigration, said, "The only people who benefit from having such an ID are those who have come illegally and have broken our laws." In a June 12, 2003 letter to Secretary Powell, he stated, "... using their consular offices here as lobbying agents to help undermine our immigration laws is an outrage and the State Department's apparent acquiescence in this endeavor is even more incredible... If you do not take steps to halt our cooperation and support of this practice, our country will see a virtual tidal wave of such cards issued to illegal alien by their embassies and consulates in the U.S."

Colorado Representative Don Lee and Senator John Andrews subsequently introduced a bill that would make illegal the accepting of the Mexican matricula consular ID card and other "unsecured" IDs.

The bill (HB-1224, the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act) was amended by the Senate. CAIRCO opposed the amendment in favor of the original wording. The bill subsequently iterated back through the House and a House-Senate Conference Committee to develop final wording which was signed into law.

See CAIRCO' summary of the HB-1224 Secure and Verifiable ID legislation.

The Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act

Colorado Governor Owens signed the bill into law on May 22, 2003

Although CAIRCO preferred the original unamended version of the bill, this is a very significant step forward in reducing the number of unsecured IDs that are issued and accepted in Colorado. Colorado is the first state making illegal the accepting of sham, unsecured ID cards.

HB-1224 seriously discourages the use of the Mexican Matricula Consular identification card, or any card issued by any other foreign government that is not "secure and verifiable" by the United States Government. This means that only identification authorized specifically by United States government agencies will be acceptable.


HB-1224 provisions

  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable to use to receive a library card, have a city business license issued, demonstrate eligibility for state or local government services (such as a marriage license or automobile registration), or to obtain public housing or other services.
  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable for the granting of public services. The only exception to this is that the children born in the United States may show a hospital identification tag, or similar hospital identification, prior to receiving their U.S. birth certificate. This is according to current interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that confers U.S. citizenship upon children born in the United States.
  • When person who presents a non-secure and unverifiable identification card to state or local law enforcement, as part of a routine traffic stop, or as part of an arrest, the arresting officer may use the information on the card as part of his or her investigation into the identity of the person. However, all information from the identification card must be recorded by the officer and retained for public inspection. If feasible, the person presenting the identification card shall also be finger printed.
  • HB-1224 changes Colorado statutes, clarifying that when a person knowingly presents fradulent documentation to a police officer (including a fradulent Matricula Consular card, fradulent Social Security Card, or fradulent Immigration card), the presenter may be prosecuted for presenting false identification to law enforcement. Previously, the law required that the person presenting the card intended to commit fraud. HB-1224 removes the fraud standard from the statute, allowing people who present false identification to be prosecuted.
  • State and local police may also rely upon information recorded on a non-secure and unverifiable identification card when it is part of the identification discovered on a dead body.
  • In essence, government employees who accept the Matricula Consular, or another from of non-secure and unverifiable identification, are risking the loss of their governmental immunity if they accept the card for any government services and will have direct liability from civil litigation. Law enforcement has been given some narrow exceptions to the governmental immunity provisions, but have been given an additional responsibility to collect information from people presenting non-secure and unverifiable ID's. The law also gives new tools to local prosecutors to bring people who present false identification to trial -- and provides new incentives for police officers to detain such individuals.

We at Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIRCO) wish to thank Colorado Representative Don Lee and Senator John Andrews for their dedicated efforts on the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act, HB-1224. We are deeply concerned about Colorado's and our nation's future and it is evident that they - and Governor Owens - clearly shared this concern with passage of HB-1224. We respect and appreciate their wisdom and vision in promoting this bill.
We understand that the machinations of politics are never simple, and we applaud their concern about this issue and their leadership in enacting legislation as embodied in HB-1224. We appreciate their efforts to make this bill as effective as possible in its final form.

Additional information on the Matricula Consular ID Card

See our extensive background information for more in-depth information, what has been done, facts and talking points on these non-secure ID cards.


"These are times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
- Thomas Paine

H.R. 502

On January 30, 2003, Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) introduced H.R. 502 - national legislation requiring that identification used to obtain federal public benefits or services - including law enforcement services - meet requirements ensuring that it is secure and verifiable. This bill would prohibit any federal agency, commission, or other entity within any branch of the federal government from accepting, recognizing, or relying on any identification document not issued by a federal or state authority or issued without verification by a federal law enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agency.

Video of matricula ID card debate

Michelle Malkin On January 8 & 9, 2003, CAIRCO proudly cosponsored syndicated columnist and investigative journalist, Michelle Malkin in various appearances including a public debate and discussion: The Mexican "matricula consular" ID card: Safe or Sorry?.

CAIRCO produced a video of this lively, informative and very timely debate. We distributed the video to public access television stations across Colorado. This video is also particularly suitable to show to elected officials in every state. If you would like a professional quality format of this video for broadcast, please contact us.

Matricula Consular toolkit for activists in other states

We have been extremely successful in halting the efforts of the Mexican government to influence Colorado cities and municipalities. We have put together an activist toolkit for you to use. This toolkit explains what we have done and offers tips and techniques to achieve success.