On Monday evening, members of the interfaith coalition BREAD wanted to hear from city and county leaders about the possibility of accepting the Matrícula Consular as a form of ID for Mexican nationals living in central Ohio. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, City Council members Andrew Ginther and Zachary Klein, Police Chief Kim Jacobs, and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott were invited to BREAD's annual Nehemiah Action at the Celeste Center.
None of the officials responded to the invitation. More than 3,500 members of over 50 congregations heard from faith leaders about the benefits of the Matrícula Consular and the issues surrounding it, but no government leaders were present to discuss how it might be implemented.
Cities across the U.S. recognize the Matrícula Consular as valid ID for enrolling children in school, opening bank accounts, signing up for utilities, and as proof of identity if questioned by police, said attorney Jessica Ramos at a BREAD meeting in March. The number of deportations has dropped dramatically in Dayton since the city began recognizing the Matrícula Consular in 2005, she said.
At a Columbus CRC presentation in March, city and county officials dismissed the idea of using Matrícula Consulares in Columbus, saying that they are unreliable and easily faked. But Mexican consulate officials at the BREAD gathering in March contended that the IDs include multiple security features and are reliable.
Forged Matrícula Consulares are easy to spot, Major Brian Johns of the Dayton Police Department told the Columbus Dispatch. "It isn't any worse of a problem than the fake ID cards we see from underage drinkers who attend the University of Dayton," he said. "As far as I’m concerned, the benefits far outweigh any concerns."