ID’s for All: A New Greensboro North Carolina Initiative

Amanda Huber MSW, Staff Writer

Faith Action International House has been building bridges in Greensboro, North Carolina for over 15 years ago by diversity and faith leaders. Faith Action employs immigrants and works for the immigrant population through interfaith and intercultural means. Immigrants from all over the world have made Greensboro their home and over 100 languages can be found in the Greensboro community. This is a result of Greensboro’s long history of refugee resettlement. Why is this important?

Greensboro is cultivating a community of immigrants through a collaboration of efforts by Faith Action International House, The Greensboro Police Department, and other religious groups in the community.  A non-citizen ID is being created to assist undocumented people who require identification to receive a  photo identification card. It is important to note that this ID is only valid within Greensboro, and it does not provide the same protections as a driver’s license. However,  it is apart of the process to cultivate relationships with immigrant populations.

The ID with Faith Action works in the following way. It is valid with the Greensboro Police Department and it allows people with the ID to not feel afraid of being taken into custody because of their lack of a photo ID, and it allows the police to feel confident that the person is who they say they are. The ID will not protect against ticketing, but it will protect against being held in police custody which may result in a call to Immigration and Custom Enforcement. The city police department is on board, and Faith Action hopes to get other institutions on board with this new initiative.

Why Else Would Anyone Want an ID?

photo credit: Victor L Antunez via photopin cc
photo credit: Victor L Antunez via photopin cc

American culture is focused on verifying who a person is. Being a part of the mainstream American culture requires identification. Picking up prescription drugs for the first time requires an ID, going to the library and getting a library card requires an ID, and hospitals prefer an ID to be on file.  Employers want to know who you are, although now this issue has been dealt with by utilizing the E-Verify program. Banks have their own rules about cashing checks which require some sort of identification.

When Can I get an ID?

Obtaining this ID is simple. It costs $10, and all you do is sit through an orientation where the details are explained. On ID day you bring your paperwork, a bill verifying your address, and a picture from a passport, school ID, work permit, or anything that confirms your face matches your name.

The next massive Faith Action ID day is in August.

Visit Faith Action’s Homepage for more information about the next mass orientation and ID day or go to their facebook page for updates.


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Amanda Huber

Amanda Huber is the Immigration and Social Policy Staff Writer for Social Work Helper. She is a bilingual social worker in clinical practice and a community organizer for Latino rights which includes issues of migratory status, institutional racism, racial profiling, and the ways these issues affect the people. View all posts by Amanda Huber

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