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Some North Carolina cities offer immigrant identification cards

Some community leaders in various North Carolina cities have been working to provide undocumented immigrants with a means to legally identify themselves within their communities. The municipal ID cards allow an undocumented immigrant to access certain public services in their areas. Many local officials have stated that offering identification to immigrants without legal status allows them to support efforts for better public safety and immigrant integration activities in their communities.

Some North Carolina policymakers, however, have reportedly been attempting to limit the ability of local officials to establish municipal identification programs for undocumented immigrants. Some have said that they believe the path toward a stronger economy is to ensure that everyone is able to contribute and participate in community life and the marketplace. These supporters say that imposing limitations on the identification programs will merely impede the climb toward a healthier, more successful economy in the state.

Municipal identification cards allow a cardholder to access basic utility services, such as borrowing books from a local library and participating in the civic life of a community. Currently, obtaining ID cards is reportedly difficult for many, who are then limited in their ability to contribute and participate fully in the local life of their places of residence. Six different municipalities have adapted identification programs for undocumented immigrants since 2007.

One North Carolina non-profit faith-based organization in Greensboro is said to have issued over 1,700 ID cards in 50 cities throughout the state over the past two years. Certainly, any immigrant who might have questions regarding his or her legal status or available options for seeking a legitimization of status would be able to seek answers through a consultation with an immigration and naturalization lawyer in the area. The attorney can offer sound legal counsel and guidance regarding various issues regarding pertinent state and federal laws.

Source: pulse.ncpolicywatch.org, "Municipal identification cards are an important tool for local policymakers in promoting public safety & expanding economic participation", Alexandra Sirota, Sept. 24, 2015

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