Baltimore police will recognize immigrant IDs issued by Catholic Church

Baltimore police will recognize immigrant IDs issued by Catholic Church October 11, 2018

Other places around the country have introduced programs similar to this one — the video report above shows what they are doing in Dallas — and it appears to be spreading.

From The Baltimore Sun:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore will issue identity cards to undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable people that the Baltimore Police Department has agreed to recognize — a program activists hope will make people more willing to cooperate with law enforcement.

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Archbishop William E. Lori joined church and community leaders Wednesday at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Canton, which is home to a large immigrant congregation and will run a pilot of the card system.

Pugh said that if the card gives even one person the confidence to report a crime, it will be a success.

“No one should become a victim and be afraid to call the police,” Pugh said…

…Advocates for immigrant communities say people without legal status in the United States are reluctant to come forward as victims or witnesses of crime. They say helping immigrants get an identity card from a trusted institution — the Catholic Church — will make people more comfortable talking to officers.

Pugh committed to the program at a town hall meeting in June.

Lori said the program has the backing of the archdiocese and its designers hope that vulnerable immigrants will be more willing to come forward and deal with the church, rather than the government, to get an identity document.

“Together, we are standing here. We are sending a clear message,” Lori said. “People have a right to be safe. People have a right to live in a city where we see each other as neighbors and friends, rather than strangers and enemies.”

Read more. 

And check out a video on the program. 

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