Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anti-matricula bill clears House panel

DURHAM -- A bill that would stop police in Durham and other communities from recognizing identification cards like the Mexican matricula consular cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly on Thursday.

The N.C. House's Government Committee endorsed the bill by a 16-10 vote, sending it on to the chamber's Judiciary Committee for additional review, City Councilman Mike Woodard said.

Woodard, who attended the morning hearing at the request of El Centro Hispano organizer Ronald Garcia-Fogarty, said the vote followed party lines.

He reported to his City Council colleagues Thursday afternoon that Durham legislators are pessimistic about the chances of stopping the bill.

"I got pretty grim predictions from [Paul] Luebke and [Mickey] Michaux," Woodard said, naming the Democrats who head Durham's House delegation.

Thursday's committee vote came 22 days after the chamber's lone independent joined an otherwise GOP-only group of House members in introducing the bill.

It would allow police, judges, magistrates and other officials in the criminal-justice system to accept as confirmation of a person's identity only a state driver's license, a state ID card, a passport or official U.S. immigration papers...

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