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Official Looking ID’s By Local Business Rejected

by H. Nelson Goodson Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008 at 1:32 PM
conquistador@bizwi.rr.com 414-383-1000 3206 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53215

Banks and the Mexican Consulate won’t accept them

Official Looking ID...
id_credenciales_usa_7.4.08.jpgdeif1n.jpg, image/jpeg, 960x1280

Official Looking ID’s By Local Business Rejected

Banks and the Mexican Consulate won’t accept them

By H. Nelson Goodson
El Conquistador Newspaper
3206 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
414-383-1000
conquistador@bizwi.rr.com
July 2, 2008

Milwaukee - A local business manufacturing identification cards that bear the Wisconsin State Seal and could be mistaken as official ID’s, is under fire by various local banks, the Mexican Consulate of Chicago, the Southside Organizing Committee, and Voces de la Frontera. Last Saturday, the groups held a press conference at Mitchell Bank to warn people about useless and misleading identification documents being advertised and sold by local businesses. They are urging Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to investigate Credenciales U.S.A., 3031 W. Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee and other businesses who offer similar useless identification cards geared for undocumented immigrants. Hugo Loyo who operates Credenciales USA says he took over the ID business from Transfernet USA/Mex Inc. which offers secondary ID cards and International driving permits as a business.
Wisconsin Court records indicate, TBF Financial LLC of Chicago sued and won a judgement of $16,292.20 against Loyo and Transfernet in November of 2003. In July of 2007, the judgement of $16,292.20 was paid in full by Loyo.
In 2007, Governor Jim Doyle signed 2005 Wisconsin Act 126 into law barring the Department of Motor Vehicle from issuing driver licenses and identification cards to aliens and residents without proof of legal status or a valid Social Security. The state legislature passed it to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005.
Loyo told the group, he began providing the secondary ID after the law took effect to help people in the community get an ID. “It’s not an official ID and the ID states in the back that it’s not a government-issued identification,” emphasized Loyo.
Loyo believes he is not doing anything illegal and is complying with the law. An ID goes for $40 for one year, $60 for two years and $80 for three years. An International driving permit goes for $110 for one year, $190 for two years, and $240 for three years, according to an employee at Credenciales. The employee said, you don’t have to be in the country legally to get an International driving permit from them.
Through radio ads in La GranD 104.7 FM and in a 4x6 flyer distributed in the predominately Latino area by Loyo, Credenciales USA suggests the ID’s are credible because it would serve as an identification card recognized by the Mexican Consulate of Chicago.
The groups who are speaking out against these type of useless ID’s from Credenciales USA and Ameracard believe otherwise. Alfonso Joule from the Mexican Consulate confirmed Saturday, the Mexican Consulate does not recognized or accepted Credenciales USA ID’s despite Loyo’s advertisement that they do. “Advertisements by Credenciales USA claim or imply that the identification cards they sell are acceptable to open bank accounts, board an airplane, register plates, obtain vehicle license plates, when in fact they are not,” said SOC Executive Director Steve Fendt. Cristine Neumann-Ortiz from Voces de la Frontera says, she has received complaints that the ID’s are seen as a substitute for a valid Wisconsin Drivers license, which they are not. People could be put at risk of arrest for using them. People who are in the country legally can use their driver license from their country of origin for a limited time to drive and don’t need to get an International driving permit, added Neumann-Ortiz. She wants Loyo to close his business of selling worthless ID’s.
Primitivo Torres, the Customer Service Manager at US Bank located at the 900 block of W. Historic Mitchell St. said, “US Bank does not accept Credenciales USA ID’s or similar ID’s to open bank accounts with us. We do accept passports and Mexican Consulate issued cards.” Jackie Martinez from Mitchell Bank at the 1000 block of W. Historic Mitchell St. confirmed that people have tried to open bank accounts with Credenciales USA ID”s and unfortunately they have been denied due to lack of a credible source.
In Wisconsin, anyone over the age of 21 must have a valid state ID or a driver’s license to buy beer and alcohol, enter a tavern, and night clubs where alcohol is served. Credenciales USA ID’s are not valid to buy alcohol, enter taverns and night clubs, according to state officials.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, the ID has no official function, does not comply with the Patriot Act, and can be misleading. When traveling on commercial airlines and trains, the Transportation Security Administration only recognizes a valid Passport, state issued Driver’s License, Military IDs, and current student IDs over the age of 18.
However, Loyo says the ID’s by Credenciales USA are officially recognized by his company and Banco Amex International, which is operated in the same building. Loyo admits to keeping documented information from customers for ethical purposes who join his club by purchasing the ID’s and International driving permits. He says the customer is informed that the ID has limited use and won’t be accepted in most cases. The back of the ID card states it is issued in the United States of America. Then why do people buy a worthless ID? Loyo implied, It is only business. Organizers opposed to Loyo’s selling non credible ID’s in the community say he is just profiting from a group in need of an identification, but can not get them legally. Once people discover the ID’s have a limited use and are not credible, they are afraid to complain to authorities and seek reimbursement because of their undocumented status.
In April 2008, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot charged Guillermo R. Robles and Hernan C. Trujillo who marketed fraudulent “International Driver’s Licenses,” which they sold for $225 each. Radio and Latino newspaper ads they ran targeted Hispanics and advertised that the licenses would let buyers to purchase, insure and drive vehicles legally. “These defendants are charged with unlawfully selling fake driver’s licenses to immigrants,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The scheme preyed upon foreign nationals who reside in this country who were seeking a driver’s license. The fake licenses conferred a false appearance of legitimacy on those who are in the United States illegally.” Abbott says the owners have committed multiple violations of the state’s deceptive trade practices act.
State officials said the defendants also falsely assured buyers that the licenses were authorized under the First Amendment. Robles and Trujillo face multiple charges under the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Abbott is trying to get restitution for the people who bought licenses, as well as $20,000 per violation and attorneys’ fees. The state also requested additional penalties of up to $250,000 if it's determined that the men were deliberately targeting people age 65 and older, according to Houston Metro/KHOU.com.
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