August 20, 2019 | 81° F

Municipal ID program in New Brunswick will help undocumented population to navigate city resources

Photo by Camilo Montoya-Galvez |

The municipal ID program, which launched this week, offers identification to residents that can be used in city buildings, schools and police departments. 

In response to President Donald J. Trump’s announcement to remove Deferred Action for Childhood Action (DACA), the New Brunswick Free Public Library has begun implementing the New Brunswick Municipal Identification Program.

The Municipal ID program will benefit a wide range of people including homeless people, victims of domestic violence and undocumented people, according to the library.

The ID will be accepted in all New Brunswick City buildings, public schools, the New Brunswick Police Department and all city-sponsored events and services, according to the New Brunswick ID Program website.

In order to obtain a Municipal ID, individuals must present six forms of ID. Four must prove identity and two must prove residency in the city of New Brunswick. Examples of accepted documents include a U.S. or foreign passport, proof of a minor enrolled in the New Brunswick public school system, or a U.S. or foreign birth certificate. There is also a fee of $20 for adult applicants and $7 for children and seniors.

According to the website, the program will not retain copies of any documents provided at the time of application and people applying will not be asked about their immigration status.

The card allows citizens to show proof of residence within the city of New Brunswick and can be presented to police and other city officials. The ID will also serve as a library card and can be used to utilize the services and materials provided by the New Brunswick Free Public Library, according to the program website.

A similar program was launched in Union City, New Jersey in March, according to NJ Advanced Media. Union City said it gave out over 3,000 IDs within the first two weeks of the program launch.

According to NJ Advanced Media, the ID provides undocumented citizens with a way to anchor themselves to the city they live in.

The city of New Brunswick is reportedly 49.9 percent Hispanic or Latino, with an estimated 38.3 percent of residents being foreign born.

Bob Belvin, the library director of New Brunswick Free Public Libraries told TAPinto, “Most of us take for granted being able to identify ourselves, and we do not realize how often we are asked for picture ID. But for seniors, domestic violence survivors, the homeless and young people, as well as the undocumented, having a convenient method of identification is vital.”

The program was approved for launch in June and is currently taking calls to schedule appointments.

University President Robert L. Barchi sent an email to all students on Sept. 5 addressing President Donald J. Trump’s announcement to roll back DACA and condemning his actions.

“Ending the program would be wrong, unwise and inconsistent with American values. The young people who have applied for DACA protection in the hope of a productive and successful life in this country came forward and provided their personal information to the federal government in good faith. Rescinding this protection, after they have voluntarily identified themselves, is diametrically opposed to any sense of fairness, let alone compassion for their situation,” Barchi said in the email.

Barchi said in the email that Rutgers admissions policy of asking students for their immigration status will not change, and neither will longtime undocumented residents of New Jersey’s eligibility to receive in-state tuition.

“... Let us again assure students that we are committed to supporting all of you as you make your way toward a Rutgers degree, and we wish all of you a rewarding academic year,” Barchi said.

Chloe Dopico

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