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Many Mexican Immigrants Lack Documents From Both the U.S and Mexico

July 30, 2012 – David Hahn

Mexican Immigrants without Documents in the US and Mexico

 The term “undocumented person” usually refers to someone who is in the U.S. but lacks legal authorization to be here. That authorization takes tangible form in citizenship, a green card or one of the various types of visas.

It’s already difficult to be undocumented. The threat of deportation is always there. There is also the sense in which the full benefits of American society are tantalizingly close yet not fully available.

For people from some countries, however, there can be further challenges because they are doubly undocumented. They are doubly undocumented because they do not only lack valid identification from the U.S.; they also lack it from their country of origin.

This is a problem, for example, for many Mexican immigrants in Minnesota and across the country. As many as one in seven Mexicans lack a valid document to provide proof of birth.

One way in which the lack of documentation can be a problem is in opening financial accounts. Some U.S. banks allow immigrants to use identification cards or passports from their country of origin to open accounts here.

Immigrants who have identification papers or cards from home can also use them to get taxpayer identification numbers in the U.S. This, in turn, can enable the immigrants to get credit and take out mortgages.

Getting a high-school equivalency diploma (GED) may also depend on having some form of ID.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of undocumented people from Mexico who lack documents from both the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican officials say they don’t know how many Mexicans are not included in that country’s National Registry of Population and Personal Identification. But they acknowledge that lack of registration is a common issue in many parts of Mexico. This is particularly true in areas that are remote from a registry office.

Source: “Without IDs from home, Mexicans struggle in US,” Associated Press / US News, Claudia Torrens, 7-10-12

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