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Princeton offers alternative ID for non-citizens

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This weekend, Princeton, New Jersey joined a handful of other city governments that offer an alternative form of identification. Advocates say the card could make daily life easier for the illegal immigrants who often don’t have an American driver’s license or passport.

The Princeton Community ID Card is not official government identification.

But the card has been endorsed by the Princeton Police, the Mercer County Sheriff and the Prosecutor’s Office.

Patricia Fernandez-Kelly is Chair of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“It enables the people to enter transactions with places of commerce – banks, schools etc. on behalf of their children and on behalf of themselves.”

Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, calls the IDs a “back door membership card for illegal aliens.”

“We already have ID cards,” says Dane. “We have a whole bunch of them: visas, green cards, passports, social security cards, driver’s licenses. And if you do things legally, you do get one, and it lets you in the front door and it gives you the full rights and privileges of membership in American society.”

Immigrants are seeking these IDs because New Jersey’s rules for granting drivers licenses are among the most strict in the nation.

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