- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Charlotte officials are continuing to move ahead with a plan to issue IDs for city residents, despite the introduction of two state House bills that could render such forms of identification unusable, if not illegal.

The Charlotte Observer (https://bit.ly/1H6fCsj ) reports the city is working on plans for an official ID card for all city residents, including those who are in the country without legal permission. The cards, proposed by Charlotte’s Immigrant Integration Task Force, has sparked a dispute between those who welcome immigrants and those who worry the cards might make illegal immigration acceptable.

Two bills filed in the House - House Bill 318 and 328 - would spell out that ID cards created by local governments would not be acceptable to determine a person’s identity in North Carolina. House Bill 318 would require businesses employing five or more people to use the Federal E-Verify program database, tightening the current requirement that businesses employ 25 or more people. House Bill 328 is considered a crackdown on counterfeiting documents, granting driving permits to illegal state residents by creating a restricted state ID for those who undergo fingerprinting, background checks and prove their identity and state residence. They would also have to be insured and pass driving test requirements.

State Rep. Paul Stam says Charlotte’s proposed ID did not prompt House Bill 328, but played a small role. He says Charlotte would join a growing number of communities with some variation of an ID, including Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

Pat Mumford, director of Neighborhood & Business Services for the city, said the General Assembly efforts can’t be viewed as an attempt to “kill” Charlotte’s ID plan, since the city’s hasn’t yet launched the program.

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