Barbara Carrasco Fact Sheet on Municipal Identification Cards

muniid-factsOn Tuesday, September 6, 2016, Barbara Carrasco gave a monologue to city council during the call to the public portion of the meeting. Carrasco provided information about the municipal identification cards. Her information contradicted the presentations being provided by the advocates for the municipal identification card drive. As many of you know, David Stout has told everyone that the County now has the money to begin the campaign to issue municipal identification cards. Stout has stated that they only need the City to find the money to launch the project. Lily Limon has indicated that she is hopeful that the City may find the funds for the project from the savings being realized from the salaries from unfilled positions at the City.

During her presentation to city council. Barbara Carrasco referenced a fact sheet she has put together. Carrasco has provide me a copy of her fact sheet and I am making it available to you today, unedited:

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WASTE – MUNICIPAL ID’S

In December 2014 the El Paso Times reported that Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) had launched a program to provide municipal ID’s to individuals in El Paso who lacked identification. BNHR continues to lobby the city and recently the county for approximately $1M startup costs and approximately $300K yearly thereafter for a program that would issue municipal ID’s to individuals in our city that lack identification.

The county earmarked $320,000 in next year’s budget for a program that will fail and will be a waste of taxpayer money.

They estimate 50,000 such individuals live in El Paso. The identification cards allegedly will allow individuals to (1) open bank accounts, (2) go to the library, (3) have access to essential city services and (4) ability to cash checks. The also allege the identification cards will help the (i) homeless, (ii) children transitioning out of the foster care system and (iii) those individuals exiting the criminal justice system or mental institutions (iv) elderly (v) immigrants here illegally.

CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS AND QUESTIONS

Among other things, Fernando Garcia, Executive Director for BNHR stated that the ID’s would help “immigrants in the country illegally prove to law enforcement that they qualify for deportation relief under President Obama’s executive action.” This is a false statement as the only individuals exempt for deportation are those that applied for relief under Obama’s DACA executive order. Then there’s the contradictory statement by Jose Manuel Escobedo, the network’s Policy Director stating “the card proposal has zero to do with immigration status…”

Is it about immigration status or not?

El Paso Times also reported “if council approves creating city ID cards, residents could apply for the cards by presenting proof of residence and identification documents, such as a U.S. or foreign passport, visa, matricula consular, birth certificate or foreign driver licenses.” If those applying for a municipal ID can submit the documents listed, then they have proof of identification! So why ask for $1M of taxpayer monies as startup costs and $300K yearly thereafter for a program that DUPLICATES identification?

Are these questions being asked by our elected officials?

There were also contradictory statements regarding the number of individuals without identification in our city. On January 25, 2015 according to the El Paso Times, Gabriela Castaneda, BNHR Spokeswoman, did not indicate if BNHR had an estimate of how many in El Paso lacked ID’s nor was she aware how BNHR arrived at the 40,000 number. Then two days later she stated that PEW Research Center had provided the estimate of 40,000.

I researched PEW and was unable to find any stats/data by city, regarding individuals lacking ID’s. I pointed this out to Robert Heyman.

It was later reported by Maria Garcia, ABC 7 Xtra that it was the Immigration Policy Center that provided the number.

Who and what are we to believe? It is about immigration status, or not. Is it redundancy of documentation, or not. Is it PEW, or not!

Just how many are expected to apply for the ID’s? Have our elected officials asked this question?

One thing is certain, they are asking for our tax dollar!

PETITIONS

BNHR presented 10,000 signed petitions which they allege are signed by individuals supporting the idea of municipal ID’s.

Rep. (Emma) Acosta, performed a random sample of individuals on petitions signed by individuals living in her district. Her staff was unable to reach individuals by telephone so she sent them door knocking at listed addresses. They located two individuals of the 150 they sought. These two individuals admitted they had signed the petition but had no idea what it was for.

Has any other city representative done a random sample of petitions signed by individuals purporting to live in their district to verify whether or not they exist and verify whether or not they know why they signed the petition?

GROUPS BNHR PURPORTS TO HELP

(i) HOMELESS
There are presently 1,394 homeless in El Paso with 182 on the street. There are approximately 45 organizations that provide shelter, food, medical care, counseling, emergency care, rehab services and transitional housing.
How can BNHR add to or improve these existing services?

(ii) FOSTER CARE CHILDREN
BNHR states municipal ID’s will help children transitioning out of foster care. In 2015 there were 512 children in foster care in El Paso County. Each year since 2011 the number of children in foster care in El Paso County has decreased.

It is the obligation of the State of Texas to provide these children with their birth certificate, immunization records, school records, social security card and a state ID upon exiting foster care.
How can BNHR add to or improve these existing services?

(iii) FORMERLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDALS
I researched this and learned that upon leaving the penal system these individuals have access to the same ID they had when they entered the penal system. These individuals are given a photo ID, copy of their social security, if one exists. In addition to that, they have been fingerprinted and exist in a data base. These are services ALREADY being paid for by tax dollars.

How can BNHR add to or improve these existing services?

(iv) ELDERLY
DMV provides an ID for $29 up to age 59 and $6 for anyone over 60. There are also free voter ID’s. Free voter ID’s are also covered by tax dollars!
How can BNHR add to or improve these existing services?

(v) ALLEGED BENEFITS TO IMMIGRANTS HERE ILLEGALLY

(1) Ability to Open Accounts
Opening a bank account is one of the major concerns BNHR uses to advocate for municipal ID’s. BNHR states these individuals can open bank accounts and eliminate the necessity of getting the high-interest payday loans with a municipal ID.

It is noteworthy that these individual already have the ability to open a bank account and it won’t cost the taxpayer $1M in startup costs and $300K yearly thereafter. It will cost $29 to get identification! They can get a matricula consular which is more secure than a municipal ID.

Have these individuals been informed they can get a matricula consular for $29 and already open a bank account, cash checks and eliminate having to apply for payday loans?

Commissioner (David) Stout has stated that opening a bank account will allow these individuals to save money, purchase a home and contribute economically to ELP.

Regarding Comm. Stout’s statement: purchasing a home requires employment verification, valid W-2’s, and valid identification. That is unless you’re purchasing a home in cash

Has Comm. Stout made an effort to explain to these individuals they already have an avenue to open an account?
Within the White Paper on Municipal Identification Cards dated May 2, 2016 the city stated on page 8 of the Executive Summary “the First Time Homebuyer program within the Community and Human Development Department is federally funded and federal funds require that those receiving services provide a social security number as services are limited to those with lawful presence in the United States.”

FOCUS GROUPS’ RESPONSE TO BANK ACCOUNT
The City held two focus groups and invited 26 individuals to participate. Twelve participated. Each participant had the ability to cast three votes. Neither focus group voted banking as a concern of theirs.

FOCUS GROUPS’ RESPONSE TO CITY SERVICES

City services listed by the focus group included police (12 votes), library (2 votes), fire department and paramedics (8 votes) and public transportation (2 votes).

They stated a municipal ID was important because “police-asking for identification prior to providing assistance.” I also researched this and found that the police do not ask for ID prior to providing assistance.

As with the police, neither the paramedics (fire department) nor Sun Metro (transportation) ask for identification to either render medical treatment or provide transportation.

The city stated on page 8 of the Executive Summary that it is “important to note that no emergency services are denied to individuals without a form of identification.”

Has BNHR informed their members they won’t be denied services?

Finally, the city’s White Paper included pro-forma estimates over a five-year period of time associated with the cost of implementing a program and revenue from the issuance of such municipal ID’s. The pro-forma states that demand will be driven by the number of representatives assigned to issuing said ID’s. Yes, you read that correctly. Demand will be driven by the number of representatives assigned to the program.

Based on their premise (assigning “4” customer reps) that 13,696 ID’s will be issued each year for five years, revenue would be $684,800 the first year and similar amounts the remaining four years! This method is extremely inaccurate and therefore grossly overstates revenue from the issuance of ID’s.

The pro-forma mistakenly ignores the actual number of ID’s issued by the cities included in their White Paper as comparison cities to El Paso. For instance, New Haven, Ct. issued an average of 2,000 cards per year for five years; and San Francisco issued an average of 3,000 each year for five (correction: approx. 7 yrs) years.

The numbers provided by the comparison cities are a realistic approach to estimating revenue from the program. I.E., using the higher number of 3,000/yr, revenue will accurately be reflected as $150,000 resulting in a whopping reduction of $534,800.

Another critical component in the pro-forma projections is revenue shown from the proceeds of a loan in the amount of $396,806.

When did it become practice to post proceeds from loans as revenue rather than liabilities?
Has anyone questioned why loan proceeds would be posted as revenue? Then it is shown expensed for five years?

CONCLUSION: INFORM THEIR MEMBERS

Rather than asking the taxpayers for $1M for startup costs and an additional $300K yearly thereafter, BNHR should:

  • Inform their members they can obtain a matricula consular for $29 which will allow them to open accounts at specific banks in El Paso versus the $50 and possibly $100 cost for a municipal ID;
  • Inform their members that emergency services will not be denied and that law enforcement will not deny protection when called;
  • Inform their members they cannot use a municipal ID as proof they are exempt from deportation;
  • Inform their members they will not have access to most services identified by proponents as outlined in the City’s White Paper and specifically stated by the City therein.

GROUPS IDENTIFIED AS NEEDING ID’S
Neither the homeless, nor foster care children, nor formerly incarcerated, nor the elderly, as outlined above, will benefit in any significant manner that warrants a program requiring $1M startup costs and $300K yearly thereafter.

BENEFIT VS RISK
City Council and the Mayor must recognize the risk associated with such a program outweighs the benefit. As stated in the White Paper, “sanctuary city” status will result in sanctions. Additionally, taxpayer money should not be used to fund BNHR’s desire to assist individuals that are in our country illegally.

Has anyone researched funding the city and county would lose being designated a “sanctuary city?”

PRO-FORMA REVENUE & EXPENSES
As outlined above, stating that demand will be driven by number of representatives assigned is unrealistic, inaccurate and grossly overstates revenue.

Inappropriately posting the proceeds of a loan that is not revenue is misleading and falsely inflates the “bottom line.”

Using realistic ID numbers for revenue and removing proceeds from a loan shown as revenue would reduce revenue from $1,080,806 to $150,000!

This program will fail and the fixed cost of equipment, lease, software, principal and interest on the loan cannot be recovered.

The voters of El Paso go to the ballot box, elect you, and expect that you will good stewards of our hard-earned tax dollars.

 

5 thoughts on “Barbara Carrasco Fact Sheet on Municipal Identification Cards

  1. Great Job, Barbara. You have presented an excellent case against the Muni ID and have exposed the bs to justify their actions. If more people took the time to research and challenge the officials, El Paso would not have out of control debt.

  2. Great work. Why don’t you run for CC next time? Perhaps Martin can get the BNHR to write a piece explaining why they think another ID card is needed.

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