In Sonoma County, a California driver's license is accepted as valid identification -- but so is a card issued by the Mexican consulate.
Mexican nationals will be able to give their country's state-issued identification cards as valid ID to Santa Rosa police officers and Sonoma County sheriffs, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.
The idea is to reduce the immigration-related duties of local cops, the newspaper reported. Accepting Mexican consulate-issued cards will reduce the number of people booked into jail for lacking ID, and ergo, will reduce deportations from Santa Rosa County Jail, the newspaper reported.
"Today is a great day," Sonoma County Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Dueñas said. "We're now going to accept the matriculár consular ID."
Advocates for immigrants point out that almost half of the 921 immigrants turned over to ICE authorities by the jails had not committed a crime, and another third had committed minor offenses, the newspaper reported.
Mexican nationals will need to apply to the consulate for such a card. The consulate will likely set up shop in the area to both issue cards and instruct people how to do so, the newspaper reported.