Jersey City Municipal Id Program Set for Final Vote

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The Jersey City council is scheduled to adopt a municipal ID program on May 24. (

JERSEY CITY — A municipal ID program intended to help residents who entered the country illegally is ready for final adoption at this week’s City Council meeting.

Jersey City would be the latest New Jersey municipality to provide a local ID to residents. Newark, Paterson and Union City are among those who have already established their own.

Municipal IDs are used by undocumented immigrants who have no valid form of government ID they can use to open bank accounts, sign leases and more. The cards would cost $15 for anyone over 18 and $7 for children, veterans, the disabled and senior citizens.

The council gave initial approval to the ID program on April 12. At the time, Council President Rolando Lavarro said local IDs would allow undocumented immigrants to have “access to the mainstream of society.”

The Center for Migration Studies, a nonpartisan research center, estimates that roughly 22,300 Jersey City residents entered the nation illegally, nearly 10 percent of the total population.

The council on Wednesday is also scheduled to give final approval to a measure targeting puppy mill pet stores as well as one that would require residents to wrap mattresses in plastic before disposing of them.

Fears of bed bug infestations are at the heart of the mattress proposal. The ordinance says wrapping mattresses, box springs and bedding headed to landfills will protect the community and sanitation workers who have to handle them.

The helpful folks in Jersey City’s law department even define mattress, just to be safe, as “(a) a fabric case filled with resilient material (such as cotton, hair, feathers, foam rubber or an arrangement of coiled springs) used either alone as a bed or on a bedstead; or b) an inflatable airtight sack for use as a mattress.” That’s the word-for-word Mirriam-Webster definition of mattress.

The council meets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 280 Grove St.

Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at tmcdonald@jjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

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