Law enforcement officials in Sonoma County, California, announced Sunday that agencies will begin accepting both California driver's license and ID cards issued by the Mexican consulate as valid identification. The cause has been pushed by the North Bay Organizing Project, a coalition of immigration, labor, conservation and bicycle activists, who hosted Sunday's rally. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports on the the rally:
"On the auditorium stage, project members asked Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and Santa Rosa Police Department officials to state if their agencies would start accepting the Mexican ID cards.
Sonoma County Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Dueñas answered in the affirmative.
'Claro,' he said in Spanish, a response that prompted nearly 800 people into cheers, stomping and ear-piercing whistles.
'Today is a great day,' Dueñas said in English. 'We're now going to accept the matriculár consular ID.'"
The idea has been advocated by law enforcement as a means to reduce the immigration-related duties of local cops, with supporters pointing out that stats that half of the 921 immigrants turned over to ICE authorities by the jails had not committed a crime, and another third had committed minor offenses. Groups attending the rally included the Centro Laboral de Graton, MoveOn.org and the Latino Democratic Club.
NBC Bay Area reports that Mexican nationals will need to apply to the consulate for IDs, and that the consulate will likely set up an operation in the area to both issue cards and instruct people how to do so.