Longview's Wesley McCabe United Methodist Church was jammed with Mexican immigrants today all trying to get an identification card called a "Matricula Consular". Representatives of the Mexican Consulate were on hand to verify identites, and issue a card that will be recognized by banking institutions. Many Mexican nationals have lived and worked in Longview for years, but can't even open a bank account because they didn't have recognized identification. Local law enforcement is also supportive of the cards as it gives them a reliable source of indentification.
"You can open an account and you can cash your checks. Its a real problem because I try to cash my check and they say no, you have no I.D," says Mexican national, Erika Tidmore.
"Its an excellent tool, not only for law enforcement but for the Mexican nationals themselves. It helps us to identify them if we need to talk to them later" says Longview Police Officer Seth Vanover.
Consulate workers issued 700 ID cards today. That's all they were prepared for. But still many more were waiting in line to register. Workers say they'll be scheduling another visit to issue more cards soon.