In an exciting piece of recent illegal immigration news, Newark, New Jersey launched a municipal identification program open to all Newark residents – even undocumented immigrants. Mayor Ras Baraka signed City Council-approved legislation on June 1st, 2015 that made Newark the only city in the state to offer identification cards to all residents, regardless of their immigration status.
Following New York’s unrolling of their ID program, Newark, which houses a large immigrant population, is targeting, “marginalized people in the community,” such as the disabled, formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, transgender people, and immigrants. New York has already issued over 165,000 ID cards since their program’s January launch. On July 1, a pilot version of the program is scheduled to launch for staff in the mayor’s office and other administrators.
By Aug. 1, the city hopes the program will be open to all residents. If you need immigration legal advice about obtaining an ID card in New Jersey, or gaining lawful immigration status, speak with an immigration lawyer for assistance. You may qualify for other immigration services as well.
Do I qualify for a municipal ID?
There are only a few simple requirements for a new Newark ID card. You must:
• Be at least 14 years of age
• Have proof of residency, such as a utility bill
• Pay the required fee
Newark’s card will cost $15 for adults and $7 for children, seniors, and United States military veterans. If you are homeless, you may qualify for a financial hardship waiver. Call a lawyer if you require further immigration legal advice.
What can I do with an identification card?
With a legal ID card from the City, you can use it to:
• Open a bank account
• Enter public buildings
• Enter cultural institutions
• Take a high school equivalency exam
• Provide identification to law enforcement
• Access Newark city programs
• Access Newark city services
Other municipalities, in states such as California and New York, have already implemented such ID programs. More American cities are following suit – in fact Hartford, Connecticut plans to unveil its municipal ID program in September. More illegal immigration news is sure to hit soon, as the nation continues to evolve in favor of immigrants’ rights. A municipal ID card is different than a state identification card or a drivers’ license.
Additionally, having a valid City ID does not grant you legal immigration status. You may qualify for a special immigration status, legal permanent residency, or other protected status, as well as other immigration services. If you are an undocumented person living in the United States, you may be subject to deportation. If you have further immigration questions, need legal advice, or require immigration legal services, contact an attorney for more information.
No doubt, immigration law is one of the most confusing parts of the nation’s legal system. Guidelines and legal protections vary from state to state, and from city to city. If you need immigration legal services in New Jersey, an attorney from the law firm of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq can help.