Several Democratic lawmakers are lobbying the Treasury Department for its support to allow credit unions and others to continue using the matricula consular cards issued by the Mexican embassy to Mexican nationals working in the U.S. as a valid identification for bank and credit union accounts.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow, 16 Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee ask the Treasury to support provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act providing financial institutions with discretion to accept identification documents issued by foreign governments, such as the Mexican cards, known as matricula consular.
The cards, assert the lawmakers, have become an important tool for opening financial institutions to the unbanked. In the case of Mexican nationals, who sent more than $10 billion home form the U.S. last year, provides them with security through access to mainstream financial institutions.
More than 50 credit unions, most of them in Mexican border states, accept the matricula cards as valid identification to open credit union accounts.