GREENSBORO, N.C. — More than 200 people are closer to having ID cards Friday night. The cards are not government issued, but some local law enforcement agencies support giving them out. This is happening even in time when the Trump administration is talking tough about any help for people who are in the country illegally.
FaithAction is a group that supports immigrants, legal or illegal, and it has the support of law enforcement agencies like Greensboro police.
“When someone gets pulled over the first thing police asked for is identification and if they’re not able to provide that, they could potentially take that person to jail,” said David Fraccaro, the executive director of FaithAction. “That would mean taking our law-enforcement off the street and into a magistrate’s office for hours, when we have bigger fish to fry.”
Greensboro police say the IDs have worked well in the three years since FaithAction started this. To get the cards people must pay $10, go to an orientation, provide a different form of ID, like a passport, and have proof of their address.
Tough talk on immigration from the Trump administration has them organization wondering about the ID card program’s future.
“Don’t feel positive about the executive orders but we are feeling positive about the tremendous support from local law enforcement, who want the same thing we do… a safer and inclusive more united community,” Fraccaro said.
The Greensboro Police Department says it will continue to accept the IDs because its goal is to create a safer community and the IDs help.
“It’s really helped us as a law enforcement to have the trust with the community,” said Det. Anders Lyndrup, with the Greensboro Police Department. “They come to us if they have questions or any sort of information about crime in their neighborhood. Would absolutely love to keep this around another four or five years, as long as it keeps going.”
Burlington, Graham and Mebane police departments are among more than a dozen others began accepting the IDs since the program started.
“If people don’t trust law enforcement and won’t contact them because of fear that makes a less safe community for all people,” Fraccaro said.
FaithAction says around 8,000 of the IDs have been created so far. These are not a substitute for driver’s licenses and they are not government issued. It’s a ID used to show officers, or even health care professionals, this is who I am and this is where I live.