Hispanic community embraces ID program

Posted March 18, 2016
Updated March 20, 2016

— Community IDs are uniting Hispanic communities in Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The IDs act as another way that residents can identify themselves.

El Centro Hispano, a group dedicated to strengthening Hispanic relations, funds the IDs through through the FaithAction ID Initiative.

Maria Flores, a student at North Carolina Central University, is an El Centro Hispano intern, and she says several people visit the office every day to get IDs.

"There are a lot of individuals in Durham that do not have proper identification," she said. "This ID allows them to have a sense of belonging, so they can identify themselves."

People use the IDs to identify themselves, mainly to police. Over 160 cards have been issued since an ID drive in February. Chapel Hill resident Maria Dolores Castillo has an ID, and she says the cards will give the Hispanic community a voice.

"If the Hispanic population get together with the police station, with the other organizations such as churches, then we can overcome injustice together," Castillo said.

Local police want to build better relationships with the Hispanic community, and they agree that the ID program can help bridge the gap.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to build relationships with people,” Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said. “Our support for this ID program will continue to build relationships in our community.”

Anyone can apply for an ID card and applying is simple. A person must have an original birth certificate – from the United States or another country – and be able to verify their home address. If approved, the card will arrive in two weeks. The cost of the ID card is $10.

All cards must be renewed annually.

Yvonne Thomas is a senior Journalism and Mass Communications major at Samford University, where she has served in reporter, anchor, producer, camera operator and audio technician roles for The Samford News Network.


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