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WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2004-2005 that would sharply constrict immigrants’ ability to use ID cards issued by their embassies and consulates, the so-called matriculas as identification. These forms of identification have been seen as one way otherwise undocumented immigrants can gain access financial services, including those provided by credit unions. According to the National Consumer Law Center, the amendment to the bill, which passed roughly along party lines in the House, would prescribes the kind of identification governments may accept from their citizens and the manner in which records must be kept. It also obliges the issuing government to require cardholders to report any change of address within 30 days. The amendment requires the U.S. State Department to issue regulations that enforce all these provisions. According to the NCLC, 400 cities, 80 financial institutions, and 825 law enforcement agencies in 14 states accept the matriculas. The House has not voted on the overall bill that contains the amendment and it is unclear the Senate would approve a similar amendment, the NCLC said.

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