Most people know that Usama bin Laden's terror group, Al Qaeda (Arabic for “the base”), derives its name from the Mujahideen database that bin Laden developed through the 1980s and 1990s. Using “the base,” bin Laden could call on a corps of operatives to carry out missions.
There is growing evidence that the Mexican government, in similar fashion, is working with a group called the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (search) (“Institute of Mexicans Abroad”) to use its matricula consular database (search) to deploy illegals to state legislatures and city councils across America. There, the illegal aliens — Mexican nationals who have been provided a matricula consular card — pack the gallery and seek to apply pressure against legislators who sponsor or intend to vote for bills that enhance immigration law enforcement.
Not since America’s mid-century experience with communism has there been such an organized effort at subverting our country’s political institutions. As reported in the Washington Times, local and statewide illegal immigrant advocacy groups and Hispanic groups, whose memberships include illegal immigrants as well as Mexicans who have become legal immigrants or citizens, coordinate with the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior to agitate for access to public services for illegal aliens in the United States.
Where does the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior get its instructions? From Vicente Fox. The Instituto was created by presidential decree and reports to a group of Mexican government officials who are posted to Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is Mexico’s equivalent of our own State Department.
If the number of boisterous illegal aliens packing legislative sessions is any indication, the two main goals of the Instituto’s efforts are to defeat efforts to stop adoption of the matricula consular and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.
California Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (search) recalls the floor debate on a California measure, SB 60, which would have allowed illegal aliens in California to qualify for a state driver’s license. Referring to the former name of the territory ceded to the United States by Mexico as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 (search), Mountjoy took the floor and said, “This bill paves the road to Aztlan."
"Then everyone in the gallery stood up and applauded,” Mountjoy said.
Last summer, a Mexican consulate in Michigan detected that the small city of Holland might adopt the matricula consular as a valid form of identification. Consul General Miguel Antonio Meza Estrada traveled to Holland’s city counsel meetings five times, many times with what can only be described as a mob in tow, all of whom Estrada held out to be beneficiaries of the matricula consular. Holland finally postponed a decision on the issue because the meetings had become so contentious.
Mountjoy recently sponsored the Secure and Verifiable ID bill (search) (Calif. AB 2576). The bill follows Colorado’s secure identification law, and mandates that when a California state agency issues a license, permit, or other document to a person, it first obtain from that person a previously issued secure and verifiable identification document. The bill defines a secure and verifiable identification document as one issued by a state of federal agency, a foreign passport with a valid United States entry stamp, or any other form of identification whose veracity can be verified by law enforcement.
To most, this would seem a modest and common sense legislative proposal aimed at better security, particularly after the events of September 2001. But to Mexican consulates in America, it is an attack on the rights of Mexican nationals illegally in the United States, and grounds for a pitched battle. “It’s a bill to make America safer. If we are issuing identification or a benefit to someone, we want to know who they are,” says Mountjoy.
But the bill’s simplicity couldn’t prevent one Mexican consul from running to the newspapers, apparently without any understanding of the measure. "We have to realize that under international law, Mexican consulates have the right to issue Mexican IDs to their Mexican citizens," said Consul Giralt Cabrales to a Knight-Ridder reporter. Mountjoy responds, “This bill does not prohibit Mexican consulates from issuing whatever ID they choose.”
When Mountjoy’s secure identification bill comes up for a vote, expect the matricula consular rolls to be pulled out, and the balcony of the California legislature to be filled. As bin Laden has shown, organization makes all the difference.
Matt Hayes began practicing immigration law shortly after graduating from Pace University School of Law in 1994, representing new immigrants in civil and criminal matters. He is the author of The New Immigration Law and Practice, to be published in October.