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Sebastopol accepting Mexican identification cards

By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sebastopol’s police department is now recognizing Mexican consular ID cards as valid identification, a move that could keep some illegal immigrants from landing in jail, where they would most likely be flagged by federal immigration officials.

Sebastopol Police Chief Jeff Weaver.

Police officers in California have the authority to arrest drivers who cannot provide valid identification, and Sebastopol officials have strictly enforced that law, Police Chief Jeffrey Weaver said.

The city’s new policy of accepting a consular ID card (known in Spanish as a matricula consular) will affect a “very small group of people,” Weaver said. It would benefit primarily those drivers who are pulled over, do not have a driver’s license and face no other legal issues.

The change is “really one specific offense — that’s driving without a driving license,” Weaver said Friday.

Sebastopol made the change in response to community members who were concerned that arrests were being made for offenses that typically would result in a citation, he said.

On a first offense of driving without a license, law enforcement officers in Sebastopol have three options — issue a citation and allow the driver to find a licensed driver to remove the vehicle; tow the car, but not require a 30-day impound; or lock the car, put it in a safe place and order the driver not to drive.

Weaver made it clear that anyone caught committing a “bookable offense” would be arrested and jailed regardless of identification.

What’s more, he said the policy will not prevent vehicles from being towed and impounded for 30 days on a second offense of driving without a license.

“That’s a different issue,” he said.

Sonoma County immigrant rights advocates applauded the policy change.

“It establishes a positive interaction between the police and the community, not just the Latino community,” said Omar Gallardo, president of the North Bay Organizing Project. The coalition includes the Committee for Immigrant Rights Sonoma County, the Living Wage Coalition and the Graton Day Labor Center.

For months, the group has been meeting with local law enforcement leaders asking them to consider consular cards as a valid form of identification. Gallardo said illegal immigrants who are sent to jail because they cannot produce valid ID often face deportation, effectively making local law enforcement officers an arm of the federal immigration service.

Under a federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities, the fingerprints of anyone booked into Sonoma County jail are electronically checked against both FBI and Department of Homeland Security databases. The system is effective at flagging possible illegal immigrants.

Weaver said that when consular cards were first issued in the 1990s, he called the Mexican Consulate to find out how much identity verification went into producing the cards. What he learned left him with a number of security concerns.

Responding to advocates’ request to have another look at matricula cards, a team of local law enforcement leaders visited the Mexican Consulate office in San Francisco this summer to take a closer look at security issues.

“We had them walk us through the process,” said Weaver. “It’s essentially the same criteria that the Mexican government uses to issue a passport.”

Weaver said Sebastopol’s new policy is being considered by nearly every police department in Sonoma County, as well as the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, in an effort to achieve uniform enforcement across the region.

Sheriff Steve Freitas said Friday that the policy will be considered at the next meeting of the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs Association in early October.

“My goal is to have, whenever possible, consistency in law enforcement services countywide,” Freitas said.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com.





56 Responses to “Sebastopol accepting Mexican identification cards”

  1. Jan says:

    Ok so let’s get real then- what’s good for the criminal (the illegal aliens here in Sonoma county) is good for the American citizens.

    I guess I won’t need to worry about showing a driver’s license and valid auto insurance in Sebastopol. Maybe my Costco card will do? (It has my picture…)

    What about past infractions for no license & insurance? Can someone get a refund for fines already paid?

    What are people using for brains? Are they waiting for one of them to get shot? Or something worse? Don’t they have connections with the police in other places on this planet to see what’s going on in the outside (of Sebastopol) world? Remember 9-11?

    The article says:”…… those drivers, who are pulled over, do not have a driver’s license and face no other legal issues.” If the Sebastopol police pull over an illegal alien or anyone without a license isn’t this their golden opportunity to take them in to check the fingerprints and search their car?
    (Americans have their fingerprint on file with DMV)-is that how they find out if they face “no other legal issues”?

    How else will they find out whether an individual is up here from Mexico or wherever ,playing the “submissive/mild mannered, smiley face, pity pulling, no speak English, hoodie or hat wearing, playing soccer in a field, anonymous, agricultural /warehouse worker” person, OR whether they are actually a criminal illegal alien hiding out here from a crime(s) committed in another city or state ?

    We need to correct what has been going on too long uncorrected.

    The police can catch illegal aliens and call La Migra period. No more “stupidity sanctuary city”. We can help out the rest of the state & the country or we can continue to be an embarrassment.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  2. Chris J Seamans says:

    If the local, state and federal governments would just enforce our immigration laws, then this wouldn’t be a problem.
    Our police need to enforce Safe Communities. Their pay not only comes from State, but federal as well.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  3. Really Big Fish says:

    @ Danny Delgado.

    Two points:
    (1.) Illegal immigration is the most prominent and identifiable problem causing our current financial, moral and political mess for our country and, for this post, specificallly in Sonoma county. Leadership has been debased to people like ” Bottoms up” Woolsey and charlatans like Obama, Thompson, Pelosi and Boxer who are pathetically sad characters producing nothing more than ineffeciency and multiple types of corruption. Supporting illegal immigration demonstrates ones ignorance, lack of respect for America, the rule of law and highlighs ones hypocrisy.
    (2.) The illegals here could easily be a none issue but instead is the most problematic issue because of the shallowness and hypocrisy of politicans, Unfortunately,they know most poeple are lazy, ignorant, love entitlments and only want free things. It would easy with a clear and moral conscience logistically and effectively to organize,schedule and move 12 million people out of the United States in one year or less. This removal would result in more lobs for U.S citizens and taxpayers, make funds availble for U.S. college students, dramatically reduce our costs and taxes, less crime, better education, more available housing, better community spirit, more confidence in government,peace of mind,reduce terrorist threats, and (re)educate our children on what America is about. Dan, please tell the audienece why illegal ( don’t confuse with legal)immigration has been a postive benefit in your life , the community and country and who pays for it.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  4. Joseph says:

    The blowback on these policies has already started. http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_18891291
    Evan in a latino community.

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  5. Greg House says:

    Representative Scott Garrett, Republican of New Jersey, the use of the MCAS cards by illegal aliens weakens the measures established by the U.S. Congress after “9/11 to safeguard American businesses and financial institutions against fraud and abuse”. U.S. law enforcement officials also cite that Matricula Consular cards are issued by Mexican Consulate without checking the authenticity of the applicant’s supporting documentation. In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) disclosed and reported that the Matricula Consular card is inherently unreliable and unverifiable as an identification card and is highly vulnerable to fraud, regardless of its security features. The FBI reported that because Mexico lacks a centralized database for their CIDs, they are unable to prevent an individual from receiving multiple CIDs and cannot access information about a CID applicant’s identity. An FBI agent said that “Mexican consulatdes issued CID cards to individuals lacking any proof of identification, as long as they fill out a questionnaire and satisfy the consular official that they are who they claim to be.” U.S. Federal and local drug enforcement agents have discovered that numerous non-citizen narcotics traffickers obtain Matricula Consular cards using aliases and that their use in the United States presents the U.S. with a serious criminal threat.

    In a 2003 letter to the Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge by the U.S. House Chairmen of the Homeland Security Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, & Intellectual Property, it was written that the Matricula Consular “can be a perfect breeder document for establishing a false identity”. They warned that criminals could exploit the cards to conceal their identity as well as launder money and write fraudulent checks. They went on to point out that any acceptance of the cards by the Federal government “compromises our homeland security” by providing an opportunity for terrorists to freely move about the U.S., board planes and transfer funds for terrorist activities.

    In January 2003, Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, pushed for a trial arrangement to give holders of Matricula Consular cards access to the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco. Due to national security concerns, other members of congress later revoked the privilege by the summer of 2003. In response to this, Pelosi argued that the vote to restrict the use of the Matrícula Consular was “anti-Hispanic” and that “We in San Francisco know that the Matrícula Consular works”. The Matricula Consular card has been embraced by the Democratic Caucus. The Mayor of San Francisco established a policy in December 2001 for the city and county of San Francisco to accept the Mexican CID as a valid form of ID. The mayor’s office issued a press release stating that the card would prevent those in the Mexican immigrant community lacking an acceptable identification from being jailed or deported when committing minor offenses.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned that the Matricula Consular card is not sufficient to determine legal immigration status nor eligibility for the U.S. Food Stamp Program. The department also advised that home addresses on these cards may not be current “given the potential mobility of this population”.

    Bank on California, a program launched by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2008, encourages financial institutions to accept the Mexican CID, Guatemalan CID and other CID cards as primary identification for opening bank accounts.

    Activists opposed to immigration have shown that the High Security Mexican CID is subject to identity theft by even non-Mexican citizens by obtaining the Mexican IDs for U.S. citizens.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  6. Ricardo Sorentino says:

    Sometimes it takes an extreme measure or act to get the attention of those in office. Anyone who is involved in an automobile accident with an unlicensed / uninsured / undocumented (Sonoma County police and politicians don’t like the correct word: illegal immigrant) should sue the city for damages. If the accident TAKES PLACE in a city, like Sebastopol, that favors unlicensed drivers, sue the city for damages. If the unlicensed driver RESIDES in a city that favors unlicensed drivers, sue that city. Any city or unincorporated area that favors unlicensed drivers that does not impound vehicles upon the FIRST citation of no license, sue them for damages. After all, its those very cities and local government that allows those drivers to be out there in the first place. Insurance companies should be doing the same thing: why should they pay out claims and not recoup the money from the same local government that turns a blind eye in resolving these safety issues?

    If we continue to allow government to continue on this path, it won’t be long before 50% of the drivers in this county will be unlicensed and uninsured. And you’re out there among them, driving with your family.

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  7. Really Big Fish says:

    When an illegal alien with a Sebastopol ID card runs over some little kid can the city be sued? Please place signs in spanish that all illegals go to The Sebasters Hole to help the retailers and signs in English to NOT SHOP IN SEBASTOPOL!

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  8. Commonsense says:

    Jon B. has a good point, if Law Enforcement was willing to except other foreign id, but per my research, they don’t and there is a reason for that.
    Foreign ID’s aren’t generally accepted because we have no knowledge or control over how they are obtained and thus cannot rely on thier validity. To obtain a Ca id card you must produce a valid certified form of id, so we know you are who you say you are, like a birth certificate, passport or military id card. I notice this article is short on specific information regarding what process or information convinced the Sebastopol pd that the mexican consular card process was somehow determined to be accurate. Lets face, even our system of verification for a ca id card isn’t perfect, many times false documents are used to obtain them and there have been past scandals involving DMV employees selling id to illegal immigrants. However, it’s a system that at the very least generally requires some verification and provides a for a method of obtaining a valid id. The core basis of this decision is political and that is really the problem. It treats people with a Mexican card different then people who may have a card from london, belize, chili…and etc. While I understand the distinction you make, the id only allows the officer to cite and release, I disagree that the distinction should excuse the new policy. When someone in this country illegally, drives illegally, then there should be an specific, consistent and immediate consequence, such as the impoundment of the vehicle and the citation to appear in court on the law violation, period. If they are caught a second time, they should be booked on it, and if they are illegal, they should suffer the collateral federal consequences, period. The real problem is when we start enforcing laws or fail to enforce laws based on pure political reasons, then we divide the community and we create hostility.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  9. Keyless Chuck says:

    If the Press Democrat sent an undercover reporter into the consulate to obtain a consular ID card, they could publish the “criteria” for their issuance. What documents do you need to get it? How do we know the documents you present to the consulate are genuine? Most illegals have counterfeit social security card and counterfeit resident alien cards and counterfeit everything. What’s the point of accepting another document if it can be obtained without actually verifying the identity of the person? How about a story telling us exactly what it is the Mexican government requires to issue the ID and what efforts are taken to verify the identity of the applicant? Why does the Sebastopol PD give legitimacy to so dubious document? Clearly, it’s yet another excuse to do nothing or to appear to be sympathetic. I’m sure we’re all convinced how great the politicians of Sebastopol are, right?

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  10. Canthisbe says:

    Good lord. I re-read the article. I did not see anything about the Sebastopol police being overwhelmed with non-stop crime fighting. If we need to stop enforcing some laws so that the police are freed up to be available for other calls for service, why not stop writing minor traffic tickets for drivers who have a valid driver’s license and “face no other legal issues”? This would free the officers up to do other things – like enforce the Federal law concerning illegal immigrants. And – while admittedly based on only casually reading and not empirical data – it seems that illegal immigrants may be requiring a disproportionate amount of police attention for more serious offenses anyway and deporting them may result in even more free time for the police in the long run.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  11. Jim says:

    If they don’t have a proper driver’s licence, do you think they will have proper insurance? How easy is it to buy a fake consular ID? Why are the rules different for illegals and why are they allowed to put me at risk on the road?

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  12. Jon Bixler says:

    Good lord, people… take a deep calming breath and read the article again. Use of a matricula consular does not allow immigrants to drive. Lemme say it again for the thinking impaired. This card does NOT allow immigrants, illegal or otherwise, to drive. It simply serves as a valid form of ID which gives the officer the option to cite and release said driver. This frees up the officer to be available for other calls for service.

    Sometimes I think that when some of you read the words “illegal immigrant” all the blood stops flowing to your brains.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 35

  13. Luke Warm says:

    I have an expired library card from British Columbia where I went to college for a time. Can I use it to drive in Sebastopol? Can I cash a check with it in a bank in Sebastopol? Can I use it as ID when I pay my tickets in Sebastopol?

    If the answer is no, isn’t that discrimination?

    Sebastopol needs to join the United States. We fought a civil war to maintain the Union.

    I wonder if the word has reached the loonies in the outreaches of Sonoma County that this is the United States, not a province of northern Mexico.

    Thumb up 43 Thumb down 5

  14. Sarky Fish says:

    Fire the police chief and boycott the town. No more vegan lattes or unicorn crystals for me.

    Thumb up 42 Thumb down 7

  15. Skippy says:

    @Anderson,
    Great idea!
    Libs have been using boycotts to destroy businesses and communities for decades.
    I would be happy to avoid enriching the citizens of Sebastopol until their hunger overcomes their commitment to communist social justice horse-pucky.
    Let them wallow in the self-satisfaction bankruptcy and default can bring.
    Hey hey, ho ho!
    Illegal invaders have got to go!
    All we are saying,
    is go back home now!(repeat endlessly)

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 4

  16. Social Dis-Ease says:

    OK, this is another issue in which many will scratch their heads and ask; who’s side are these people on?
    If our government likes corporations and
    ‘stake holders’ so much…
    why not run our country more like a corporation in which WE are stake holders / share holders.
    Yeah, they should be stake holders too so they have some skin in the game.
    With an accountability to us-the share holders, the ones that fund the company.
    By the way, this is Agenda 21 too.
    Another move to sabotage and orchestrate
    the decline of our economy.
    Like what the WTO did to export our manufacturing, like lotsa stuff they do. Anti-productive to our well being,
    to our sovereignty and our rights.
    Note; this is irrespective of the beautiful Mexican people, trying to do the best they can for themselves.
    It’s not what is Agenda 21…
    it’s what isn’t.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

  17. Kim says:

    Dan Delgado wrote:Now, before the zealots jump all over me, I’m not saying this is a good thing. To the contrary, I think it’s an abdication of our responsibility to allow a foreign government to determine the criterea for issuing acceptable forms of identification. We should set the rules in our own country, not Mexico. But having said that, I still fail to understand why we don’t step up to the plate and offer an acceptable form of identification for all these illegals. Too many of them escape responsibility for illegal actions simply because we have no reliable means of identifying them.

    First off Dan, ANY form of identification issued by any U. S. Government agency (state, local, federal) would validate an illegal’s presence in the country. If an illegal is cought driving without a license and is booked (finger printed) at the jail, I don’t care what name you put on those finger prints…they’ll still only belong to ONE person.
    Hope that clears the mud for ya ;-)

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  18. Pearl Alquileres says:

    I can’t blame them. The Federal GOVERNMENT is allowing these poor people to cross the boarder at will.
    NOT THE CITY OF SEBASTOPOL!

    The police need SOME WAY of tracking and accounting for these people as part of their job. If they have ANY ID at all, how can anyone blame the PD for using it?

    Sure, they should arrest them & turn them over to INS but the Police in Sebastopol may be a lot of things… STUPID isn’t one of them.

    So they arrest Paco for sneaking across the boarder, feed & house him until Imiga gets around to picking him up… FOR WHAT?
    So the INS can just kick him loose again?

    I think the City of Sebastopol already has PLENTY of creative ways to WASTE tax dollars without taking on the responsibility of the Federal GOVERNMENT!

    You want the Illegal Immigration issue resolved? Quit re-electing people who refuse to do it!

    The “problem” isn’t in Sebastopol, it’s in your mirror!

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

  19. Anderson says:

    Simple solution to get their attention – BOYCOTT Sebastopol. Don’t shop or eat in their little left-wing. pro-illegal immigration enclave. Send the police chief and city council a message, loud and clear.

    And do not contribute to ANY politician in Sonoma County or at the state and national level who supports this kind of stupidity, and refuses to protect the border.

    Thumb up 36 Thumb down 7

  20. Rick says:

    Chief Weaver is a good man and a great cop. It’s his politics that reek.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

  21. john bly says:

    “Gallardo said illegal immigrants who are sent to jail because they cannot produce valid ID often face deportation”—GOOD! —are you kidding me? Particularly on the weekend of the 10th anniversary of 9/11/01 I am having trouble understanding how this country can be so ridiculous. If you want to live and work here, do so legally! Pledge allegiance to the US flag, agree to defend the US, and file your tax returns. This country was once great because we welcomed all who needed and wanted a chance for a better life but the tradeoff was they became citizens of the USA and all benefitted.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 5

  22. Money Grubber says:

    That police chief sure looks happy.

    Why do you suppose that is?

    I suggest its because he’s dreaming of his $200,000 a year public pension that hes about to collect for life.

    Thumb up 34 Thumb down 6

  23. Chas in Mendo says:

    The Matricula Consular does not have adequate information to identify anyone. The Mexican Voter card does. Perhaps they will start using the Matricula Consular as a drivers license: makes just as much sense!

    Chas, Notary Public

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  24. Commonsense says:

    The city’s new policy of accepting a consular ID card (known in Spanish as a matricula consular) will affect a “very small group of people,” Weaver said. It would benefit primarily those drivers who are pulled over, do not have a driver’s license and face no other legal issues.

    First, they do have other legal issues, violation of federal immigration laws.

    So, If I’m pulled over and do not have my license in my possession, I’m still subject to all the applicable penalties, and probably more likely to suffer them regardless of my current employment or money situation.
    If a relative visiting from another country (not from Mexico) is pulled over and produces his or her foreign id, they will still be subject to all the applicable penalties.
    If someone moves here from another state and doesn’t get the id within the statutory timeframe, then they are subject to the applicable penatlies.

    Whatever happened to equity under the law, to equal treatment under the law, to the law being color blind. I guess that now applies only to certain people from certain places. Call me racist all you want, but the reality is that this policy is a failure to apply the law equally to all brought about by political pressure from different community groups who believe that the poor, illegal immigrants from Mexico somehow should be treated differently (in fact better), then everyone else who may be driving without a license.
    I’m totally disgusted at this point. Maybe it’s time to start some community organizations of our own and start pressuring the police to actually enforce the laws, regardless of race or country of origin.
    And for those who continue to argue that since they’re here, we should just submit somehow. Why? really why? Instead why not just enforce our laws. Those who risk deportation know it, and thus shouldn’t be surprised or outraged when it happens. If we started enforcing the laws, and yes even against employers, then we would be doing what we should. If you want a change in immigration laws and rules, discusss them with your representatives, but until then enforce the laws and soon most will self deport anyway. Of course, with our economy about to double dip in this state and probably nationwide, I”m hoping many will go somewhere else for the “better life”.

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 5

  25. Sheryl says:

    DISGUSTING!! Local, state and federal officials have been told by VOTERS over and over how we feel about ILLEGAL immigration, yet they continure to pander to an ungrateful, undocumented and largely criminal population. Time to get rid off ALL who won’t listen. Take back OUR country, state and cities.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 6

  26. Karen says:

    Shame on you Sebastopol Police Dept. This is absolutely
    disgusting and a slap in the face to U.S. Citizens!

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 6

  27. Canthisbe says:

    “The city’s new policy of accepting a consular ID card (known in Spanish as a matricula consular) will affect a “very small group of people,” Weaver said. It would benefit primarily those drivers who are pulled over, do not have a driver’s license and face no other legal issues”.

    Actually, they do face other legal issues. They are in the US illegally in violation of Federal law and need to be detained and deported.

    Thumb up 34 Thumb down 4

  28. Phil says:

    It seems logical that the Sebastopol PD would want to have a tool to identify individuals in our community. The Consular requirements and identity protections are actually more rigorous than those to get a Ca ID. Seems like people on this thread are bored and need something to whine about

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 28

  29. Dan Delgado says:

    Dave Madigan,
    I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about. Unlicensed driving is still illegal. The issue is whether the offense results in a citation or a booking into the county jail (where most minor offenders are released O.R. anyway). Lack of identification (as distinguished from the lack of a license) is the trigger that earns one a trip to the pokey. An unlicensed driver who nevertheless is in possession of valid idenfication (such as a state I.D. card, passport, military I.D., etc.) gets a citation instead. I think all Weaver is saying is that the Mexican-issued matricula cards will now be treated as valid identification.

    Now, before the zealots jump all over me, I’m not saying this is a good thing. To the contrary, I think it’s an abdication of our responsibility to allow a foreign government to determine the criterea for issuing acceptable forms of identification. We should set the rules in our own country, not Mexico. But having said that, I still fail to understand why we don’t step up to the plate and offer an acceptable form of identification for all these illegals. Too many of them escape responsibility for illegal actions simply because we have no reliable means of identifying them.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  30. Frank says:

    boycott Sebastopol, grape growers, all mexican business yuup
    who sreacms for a fair wage all the time dems/libs?, who owns most of the vineyards nowadays dems/libs, who screams for the unions dem/libs
    why are the vineyard workers not union
    the most i do for Sebastopol is wave as i am heading for the coast

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

  31. POLL says:

    Give this comment a thumbs up if you think ILLEGAL immigrants who are pulled over should be deported. Give this comment a thumbs down if you think ILLEGAL immigrants should not be deported when pulled over.

    Thumb up 52 Thumb down 4

  32. @chief says:

    Entering the country illegally is an offense that is given jail time in other parts of the world. Here the least that should happen is illegal immigrants get deported when caught, especially since they are endangering the public by driving without a license, insurance, and proper training, not to mention a blatant disregard for the law.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 2

  33. JPallen says:

    I am sure that Chief Weaver’s hand are tied and he is “FORCE” to appease the lunies of Sebastopol City Council…The law enforcement agencies are all trying to APPEASE the liberals and that is shameful to all involved. They are only encouraging more illegals to move to this area, driving down the cost, clog the roadways, steal, and trash this country like there own. What we should have is everyday “a day without mexicans.” I came into this country, why should they have a free ride? What part is “illegal” you don’t understand?

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3

  34. hahahaha says:

    I have to laugh at the ignorant posts and say keep whinning.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 34

  35. The Hammer says:

    Quoted from the DMV website: “If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.”

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  36. Kim says:

    Where is the State Attorney General on this issue? Why isn’t the AG, as the top law enforcement official in the State, ordering Sebastopol to enforce the law?

    Well Dave, the California Attorney General is Kamala Harris. Does that answer your question?

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  37. Money Grubber says:

    The only thing government, especially police chiefs, think about is their public pension.

    Outside of voters being the funding source, government really doesn’t care what you like.

    Sorry. Its just the way it is. Government does NOT care what you think about its behavior unless you can stop their funding.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  38. Phaedra Glidden says:

    Shortly after reading this PD article this morning, I went to visit my mother, who lives in Sebastopl. Due to the 911 anniversary, Sebastopol has numerous American flags lining the streets on Highway 12 and Main Street. Seeing all those American flags got me to thinking that I didn’t see even one Mexican flag hanging there alongside our American ones.

    So, I turned my car around and drove straight to the Sebastopol Police Department. I went inside with my two year-old son, and asked who I could complain to about this new policy of the Sebastopol Police Department of accepting Mexican ID’s. I told them that I was extremely upset over this especially because of the recent story about the four year-old boy, Christopher Rowe, who died a few weeks ago due to an illegal alien driving without a license or insurance. I was told I could come talk to Chief Weaver tomorrow and that he’s open to talking to the public. I fully intend on going back in tomorrow to discuss this with him.

    On the way out, a Police Officer pulled up in his patrol car. My son wanted to talk to him, as he admires Police Officers, so we approached him. He was a very nice officer who spoke to my son and talked to me about his own child. I told him why I was there, and he said he had just read that article himself this morning. He said that his child went to preschool with Christopher Rowe, so he could understand my position. He was very kind and I know that the Police have a very difficult job to do. I thanked him for his time, and told him that I appreciated his hard work, but I would be back tomorrow to talk to his boss.

    I encourage others to complain as well. It is obvious to me that they are just caving in to what they believe the PC Sebastopol croud wants. The more voices opposing this policy, the better!

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  39. Dennis says:

    I have a Native American ID card that verifies that I am a certified member of a California Tribe. Can I drive in Sebastopol with just that? Probably not. So does the special exception for Mexicans seem right or fair? Of course not.

    Thumb up 36 Thumb down 2

  40. Dave Madigan says:

    The DMV handbook doesn’t say anywhere that a matricula card is interchangable with a valid Caifornia drivers license.

    Why is the Sebastopol Police Chief deciding which laws to enforce and which laws can be ignored?

    Where is the State Attorney General on this issue? Why isn’t the AG, as the top law enforcement official in the State, ordering Sebastopol to enforce the law?

    When, not if, an illegal hits and kills someone in Sebastopol, I hope that the illegal driver shares a jail cell with the Police Chief!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 98 Thumb down 13

  41. TT says:

    Last time PD had a poll of what should be done with people who drive without a license, overwhelmingly 75% voted that their car should be impounded but our illegal immigrant patronizing politicians go against public opinions. Next time someone is killed or hit by an illegal they need to sue the state for implementing the new law that illegal’s car can’t be impounded. How many illegals won’t drive & have insurance if they are caught driving? Zero; they know our justice system won’t do anything, they’ll be on the road the very next day. Chief Jeff Weaver should be fired.

    Thumb up 89 Thumb down 10

  42. Joseph says:

    Obsurd!

    Thumb up 78 Thumb down 6

  43. Greg House says:

    Dear Chief Weaver:

    Make sure your officers at least get a thumb print and a good picture.

    Getting a consular identification is as easy as going to the Mexican consulate and telling them “My name is Jose Jimenez.” Once they get the ticket, then need only go back to the consulate and say, “My name is Juan Valdez.”

    I think if someone refuses the thumb print, you can be okay deciding that their identification can not be established with reasonable certainty an arrest them.

    I have to believe that politics does not justify ignoring the law. This is the second Chief of Police in Sonoma County to compromise in this manner.

    The police need to uphold all the laws, not just the one the politicians agree with. We can change the laws through democratic process. As soon as someone is killed by someone you let go, you’ll know how much Santa Rosa’s chief regrets caving in to the politicians.

    We can all have our opinions and agree or disagree, but the police need to uphold all the laws or we have a failed democracy.

    Thumb up 86 Thumb down 7

  44. On the Road to Recovery says:

    The United States needs travel and immigration requirements used by many other countries. To enter the United States a visitor must have a passport issued by their home country. They must also have a visa with a time limit such as 90 days during a 12 month period.

    Working here by foreigners is prohibited unless they have a work permit issued by the United States. Violation penalties and large fines apply to those who hire foreigners without a work permit.

    Foreigners must have a valid driver’s license which has been issued by their home country to drive here with their visa and passport in their possession while driving.

    If a foreigner does not have the proper valid papers, they are arrested and deported.

    What Sebastopol is doing is just plain silly and stupid and soooo politically correct.

    Thumb up 80 Thumb down 5

  45. Dan Delgado says:

    Jim,
    Fair enough. “Anti-illegal immigrants” it is. I stand corrected.

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  46. Kay says:

    Hey Sebastopol, what about INSURANCE?? Are you forgetting that unlicensed drivers do not have auto insurance? They should NOT be on the road!!!!

    Thumb up 77 Thumb down 5

  47. Kim says:

    Ah, yes, an identification card issued by a government where with the right amount of money you can buy most anything. Yea, sounds logical to me.

    Fred; why, of course…after all, we’re all treated equally under the law. OK, why are you laughing?

    Thumb up 55 Thumb down 6

  48. Terry says:

    If we went to another country to live we would have to 1) do it legally, 2) get an identification/drivers license for that country and if you are there illegally you wouldn’t be able to get a legal one.
    It is not fair that those here illegally get to get away with it by using an id from the country they left to sneak into ours. This should NOT be allowed and it isn’t fair to those that are here legally. They should be sent back to their country and quit mooching off ours…we can NOT afford them!

    Thumb up 67 Thumb down 6

  49. Jim says:

    I noticed another post that refers to “anti-immigration”, using “anti-immigration folks”. This is exactly my point. The people are NOT anti-immigrant, like the democrats like to claim. The people are overwhelmingly anti-ILLEGAL immigration. Yet, the argument by the media and politicians is ALWAYS leans on anti-immigration, rather than the illegal part. “Anti-Immigrant”, racists, etc is used to end the discussion.

    The state cannot continue to survive by allowing anyone to come into the US and leech off the services meant for (and paid for) US citizens.

    Question for those behind the ‘free services to illegals’ philosophy…would your view be the same for anyone here illegally? If so, what if everyone from every country decided to come here and leech off the social services? How would the US pay for this? The claimed number currently is 12 million. Must be accurate, right? Especially given the government’s historic accuracy with their numbers.

    If this is such a great philosophy, then why is it that NO other country on Earth, even those countries the left really wants to emulate (e.g. France, England, etc), allows illegals to come in and take free services?

    It is not sustainable. CA is an example of how allowing anyone to come in and sign up for free services leans to bankruptcy. There ins’t enough tax money to pay for it. People are leaving the state. Businesses are leaving the state. The only ones who will remain are the ones most likely taking from the system.

    Thumb up 70 Thumb down 7

  50. Jim says:

    Another example of how the citizens of America are complete idiots. NO OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH ALLOWS THIS. Mexico JAILS Illegal Aliens. The IDIOTS in the US embrace those who are most likely on social services (57% of “immigrant” families are on OUR TAX FUNDED PROGRAMS!!). Why do the Sheeple support this? I’ll tell you why, because any opposition is called a racist. This country is doomed.

    Again, I encourage anyone to contact me and I’ll get you in touch with a CPA who will lower your tax liability. This way you won’t be funding the complete takeover of the US. Seriously.

    This is exactly why I never spend a cent in Sebastopol. My American money is too good to spend on any business that collects sales tax, makes money in Sebastopol. I’d rather push my car miles out of the city to put gas in it.

    Thumb up 64 Thumb down 7

  51. J.R. Wirth says:

    The whitest, least diverse city in the county gets to feign diversity and make themselves feel better as they drive their patchouli stinking overpriced Subarus to the organic weed store.

    Thumb up 69 Thumb down 9

  52. Fred says:

    If I were pulled over without a license, but a California ID, would I be given the same treatment?

    Thumb up 70 Thumb down 5

  53. srk says:

    The matricula consular is useful in the United States only for illegal aliens, since legal immigrants, by definition, have U.S. government-issued documents.

    Any bank or other institution that accepts these for identification is knowingly doing business with an illegal alien.

    Thumb up 71 Thumb down 5

  54. Josh Stevens says:

    So,Illegals who are sent to jail for lack of valid I.D. face deportation?

    Boo-freaking-Hoo!!

    The police SHOULD be an “arm of the federal immigration service”,they both exist for the enforcement of law!

    Protect Undocumented Democrats at all costs!

    Thumb up 76 Thumb down 7

  55. Alex says:

    Why is the Police Chief acting like INS? He should be removed immediately…if you move into a new state, you have to change your license within 30 days. Is he now going to discriminate against Americans who live here and don’t have a California license? How can he now start acting like INS?! There was a 4 year-old Santa Rosa child killed in the crosswalk by an illegal alien with no license and was stopped already twice by the police. Because he was allowed to drive, that child is dead because of the Santa Rosa City Council and the Sana Rosa Police Chief for allowing this to his happen..there is no doubt in my mind that the blood of that child will be forever be on them. I hope that Gorin and Wysocky every night think of that child’s precious life cut short because of them not acting like leaders…but rather acting like elected dwarf cowards. A driver who doesn’t understand the rules of the road or who cannot read English signs posted, any related accident should be held directly at the police department. Never have I seen cowards that cave into PC over public safety….talk about a vote of no-confidence in the police department and Sebastopol..this has to be it!

    Thumb up 71 Thumb down 5

  56. Dan Delgado says:

    So let me get this straight, we (or Sebastopol PD, anyway) are now relying on foreign-issued identification and the criterea established by the foreign government for the issuance of that identification because we won’t issue such identification and thereby give up any say in that criterea. Now I know all the anti-immigrant folks out there want to bury their collective heads in the sand and pretend we can deal with 12 million (or whatever the number du jour happens to be) illegals by simply pretending they don’t exist or that we have the ability to bus them all back across the border. But it seems to me that we are again shooting ourselves in the foot by not dealing with the situation by acknowledging their presence and implementing a reliable identifcation system.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 42

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