House Bill 100, which aims to ban the use of community IDs, passed a second reading the in state Senate on Monday.
The bill does not allow documents issued by a person, organization, county, city or local authority other than a valid passport or driver’s license.
Sen. Phil Berger’s representative said that Berger voted in favor of the bill because “it’s a no-brainer that local governments should follow the law just like everyone else.”
In his statement, Berger included the statement of Senators Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico) and Buck Newton (R-Wilson):
“It has, unfortunately, become clear that some local governments want to pick and choose which laws to follow, so we are simply providing additional incentive to follow the law,” said Sanderson and Newton in a joint statement. “If our local governments abide by our federal and state immigration laws, they will have nothing to worry about.”
Chief Jeffrey Smythe said that the N.C. Association of Police Chiefs (in which there are 400 chiefs statewide) position is against the legislation.
“As a uniform group we oppose this legislation. It limits the ability of our police officers to effectively investigate situations as they occur," Smythe said. “How inefficient is it to think that if somebody doesn’t have a driver’s license a passport of a military ID that I should have to book them into jail, wasting scarce resources of the jail, my police officers, the magistrates all because we don’t trust the police officers to evaluate the totality of the circumstances and identify somebody.”
Representative Pricey Harrison (Guilford) said that the legislation does not have as much enthusiasm in the House.
“My hope is that wiser minds will prevail in the house and we'll just send it to rules committee where it will die,” Harrison said. “I am very troubled by a lot of this bill and its not just the ID piece but that they’re also potentially penalizing school construction funding and road funding for any violations of this law.”
Faith Action International House in Greensboro has issued more than 7,000 FaithAction ID’s to not just immigrants, but homeless individuals, veterans and elderly who did not receive proper birth certificates.
“Greensboro police are present at every ID drive so they interact with the people who are getting their ID, they talk about what it is, what it is not,” said Faith Action Attorney Crystal Dennis.