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New IDs for undocumented immigrants in Palm Beach County

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 17:49:38-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Undocumented immigrants have a new opportunity in Palm Beach County to get IDs.

The Community ID Program, sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, does not provide government issued ID cards, but it does offer a form of photo Identification recognized for city services in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, and Belle Glade.

Maribel Gonzalez has lived as an undocumented immigrant in Palm Beach County for seven years.

"I want to be part of the community," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez signed up for an ID through the Community ID program. She said the cards make a big difference.

"A lot of times [law enforcement] ask you for an ID and a lot of the times when you do stuff, so now I have something," Gonzalez said.

This comes at a time when President Donald Trump is taking to Twitter to put undocumented immigrants on the radar.

Jason Fairbanks, co-President of People Engaged in Active Community Efforts, said the ID cards provide proof of identification and residency. But the cards aren’t accepted everywhere though.

"Lake Worth has voted to accept this for city services," said Fairbanks. "Their police agency is the sheriff’s office which does not accept this as proof of ID or residency."

Gonzalez said regardless, the cards make a big difference.

"It cost me $20 and I waited in line for a long time, but it’s definitely worth it," Gonzalez said.

Legal Aid representatives sent this statement to WPTV:

"It is not our practice to keep a database that could be used as a search tool for law enforcement or immigration enforcement. I would like to reiterate that this is not a political issue for us at Legal Aid. This is about helping people who need our help, regardless of their background."

When it comes to recognizing the IDs, Palm Beach County Sheriff RIc Bradshaw is concerned about fraud and said PBSO will not accept any card without matching thumbprints and unless it's classified as a Category 1 proof of ID.

You can learn more about the Community ID Program by clicking here.