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WASHINGTON-Self-Help Credit Union Vice President for Latino/Hispanic Affairs John Herrera, also the chairman of Latino Community Credit Union (Durham, N.C.), testified before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week in support of permitting financial institutions to continue to accept the matricula consular as a valid form of identification of opening accounts. Representing CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions, Herrera said that because credit unions are member owned, “we are intrinsically motivated to have a reasonable awareness of our membership.” He said he knew of 56 credit unions in 17 states currently accepting the matricula consular card and expects there are many others. “Let me be clear, our interests are in reaching this community whether they are born in the United States, have documentation to reside in the United States, or do not have documentation,” Herrera commented. He pointed out that the credit unions currently accepting the matricula are doing so based on the fact that there is not statutory or regulatory prohibition, due diligence associated with the IDs provides “reasonable assurances to the authenticity of the document,” and the credit union boards have decided to do so. The matricula includes several security measures, such as hologram logos, similar to a U.S.-issued identification. CUNA is supporting the use of the matricula consular at financial institutions. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) recently introduced H.R. 502 to prohibit the use of identification, “unless the document was issued by a Federal or State authority and is subject to verification by a Federal law enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agency,” for federal public benefit that requires the production of identification.

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