Mexican Consulate in Belvidere

By: Narina Crain
By: Narina Crain

A traveling Mexican consulate is in Belvidere this weekend. The workers give a state recognized form of documentation to Mexican citizens who live in the stateline. It doesn't matter how they got here, they just have to prove they're Mexican and live in Illinois.

"A lot of people out here they need the Matricula. That will help them open bank accounts and they should be respected by police wherever they go," said Katie Hernandez, a business owner in Belvidere.

Hundreds of Mexicans are coming to Belvidere this weekend to get Mexican passports and IDs. They can't get a work permit or Visa, but the consulate will provide a form of identification.

"It's only a record of Mexicans living here, an ID for the Mexicans to acknowledge they are Mexicans and they are who they say they are," said Julio Huerta, a Mexican consulate employee.

Some groups such as the Illinois Minuteman Project are outraged that the state recognizes these foreign documents.

"The Matricula Consular Card is necessarily an ID for illegal immigrants, because if you're illegal, why would you carry your real identification?" asked E.J. Pagel, an Illinois minuteman.

"They're not doing anything illegally. They're not hurting anybody or asking for anything, they're here with what they need," said Hernandez.

At least 300 more people are expected to get documentation Saturday and Sunday.

The Mexican Consulate will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's located at 109 Buchanan Street in Belvidere.

If you're interested in learning more about the opposition to this service, log on to www.illinoisminutemanproject.com.


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