Groups protest Guatemalan IDs
Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2008 12:56 a.m. MST
ST. GEORGE Anti-immigration groups protested as the Guatemalan consul renewed passports and embassy identification for Guatemalans living and working in three Western states.
It was the third time in the past year that the Denver-based consul's office held a sign-up at St. George Catholic Church's social hall for immigrants who didn't have to prove they live in this country legally.
“We do it as a service to the community,” The Rev. Gustavo Vidal, pastor of the church, said. “It's important to have passports and IDs so the people can function in society.”
Protesters said if the Guatemalans were legal immigrants, they wouldn't need other forms of identification.
“They use that means of ID for things they're not entitled to,” said Jim Flohr, vice chairman of the Citizens Council on Illegal Immigration.
The weekend sign-up drew immigrants from across Utah, Colorado and Nevada.
“The whole idea doesn't really wash with me,” said Jonathan Koski, a chapter director for the Minutemen, a group that patrols the U.S.-Mexican border.
Vice consul Rosa Maria Gallardo said her office is offering the same kind of service the U.S. embassy would do in Guatemala. “The matricula is just an additional ID. I don't see the big deal.”
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