Illegal ID Cards Blur Church-State Line in Texas



 In the face of Texas’s ban on sanctuary cities, a group of Dallas area churches is issuing photo identification cards to illegal aliens – and local law-enforcement agencies are giving them a pass.

Dallas Area Interfaith says hundreds of cards have been handed out, and thousands more applicants are awaiting their IDs. Dallas, Carrollton, and Farmers Branch police departments say they are accepting the church cards in lieu of a state-issued ID.

The Texas Department of Public Safety lists several forms of valid identification. Church cards are not among them.

FAIR asked the state’s chief law-enforcement officer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, if church-generated identification cards were valid in light of the state’s anti-sanctuary law. The answer: Unknown.

“To respond with the most legal accuracy, the Office of the Attorney General would need to issue a legal opinion in response to a request from an authorized requestor. We cannot give a legal opinion otherwise,” Paxton spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn replied in an email.

An “authorized requestor” is a public official, according to the Attorney General’s website. So far, there has been no official request.

In any event, the special church dispensations and their acceptance by police appear at odds with state statutes.

Texas’s anti-sanctuary law – Senate Bill 4 — prohibits local government agencies from adopting policies that “materially limit the enforcement of immigration laws.” Though officers with the three North Texas police agencies recognize the church-issued ID cards at traffic stops, driving without a valid driver’s license remains illegal in Texas.

On another front, Paxton is carrying on a federal fight against DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program instigated by President Barack Obama.

Texas and six other states this month refiled a lawsuit against Obama’s executive order that granted lawful presence and work permits to some 800,000 illegal aliens. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, does not seek removal of aliens currently covered by DACA. Nor does it ask the Trump administration to rescind DACA permits already issued.

“Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization,” Paxton said. “DACA sets a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to ignore the laws enacted by Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.”

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

23 Comments

  1. avatar
    Eldor Eisen on

    Dallas liberals will do anything to undermine our legally elected president Trump. I agree with all of the above post

    • avatar

      It’s not “liberals” doing this…
      Churches outside Chicago have been bringing in whole congregations full of “immigrant religious workers”. Anything for more members. Churches are not above our laws. They are the most prosperous ones in the world yet they can’t have enough. It is about greed.

  2. avatar
    George Williams on

    When an agency or institution issues an I’D card they put their imprimatur to that document, stating that identity of the holder has bern verified by the issuer. An I’D card without provenance is as legitimate as one I could make up on my computer. The churches put their integrity on the line when the isdue csrds thst have neither bavkground checks or other accepted means to back them up. These issuers take a grave legal risk in that they could be considered participents in fraud, if the holder uses it for this purpose. The signature of the issuing authority is an affidavit attesting to a truth, just as one signed by a notary public. If the attestation is fraudulent, the issuer may be subject to a finding of civil damages against him personally.

    • avatar
      George Williams on

      When an agency or institution issues an ID card they put their imprimatur to that document, stating that identity of the holder has bern verified by the issuer. An ID card without provenance is as legitimate as one I could make up on my computer. The churches put their integrity on the line when they issue cards that have neither background checks nor other accepted means to back them up. These issuers take a grave legal risk in that they could be considered participents in fraud, if the holder uses it for this purpose. The signature of the issuing authority is an affidavit attesting to a truth, just as one signed by a notary public. If the attestation is fraudulent, the issuer may be subject to a finding of civil damages against him personally. Lastly, anyone who accepts such cards as a means of identifying the holder is fool.

  3. avatar

    We in the US pick and choose which laws we wish to obey. Enforcing our immigration laws is not one of them. Our last 5 Presidents refused to enforce our immigration laws leading up to the problems we are having today. In essence, they handed over the keys to America and we stood idly by and watched them do it !
    I do not see an all out effort by either political party to deport all illegal aliens, a huge fine for anyone who hires an illegal or anything of merit to stop the flood. Why build a wall when we let’m all in anyway ? The caravan people for instance. How any claims for amnesty were processed and how many were granted? We will never really know.
    Enjoy what’s left of the America we grew up in, it’s almost over.

  4. avatar
    Thomas Buyea on

    I wonder what these churches would do if a Native Born American Hispanic asked for one of these cards and any benefits that go with it ? Then I wonder what they would do if the Native Born American Hispanic came in with their Caucasian spouse ? Then a Caucasian American alone, Here I think we would see church Racism at it’s finest ?? !!

    • avatar

      The key phrase is”any benefits that go with it”. G.W. Bush started Faith Based Initiative. Obama added non-profits to the mix of people being in business to steal other people’s money by taxation. Churches are making huge profits from government programs. And according to the Bible one cannot serve mammon and God. Those giving the churches need to realize that they are angering, not pleasing, God by aiding this abomination. God’s wrath might take the form of no more non-profits if they are spending taxpayer money rather freely donated charity.

    • avatar

      SORRY THE NUMBER I POSTED ABOVE IS INCORRECT it is 214-689-5988 Dallas Area Interfaith. Call and complain…post to social media as well. this mass must STOP!!!

  5. avatar

    I’m so sick of people (government and others) so consumed with protecting law breaking illegal aliens… they have NO RIGHT to be in our country… this insanity needs to STOP!! we should NOT be protecting ANY illegal aliens and and we should NOT be spending ONE DIME to support illegal aliens…
    ANYONE okay with allowing illegal aliens to remain in our country have ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT FOR OUR COUNTRY, FOR OUR LAWS OR FOR THE CITIZENS… Our politicians AND ANY CHURCHES WHO MAY BE DOING THIS… have ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT for being a citizen of our country.. they have DESTROYED THE meaning and value of being a citizen….
    WHY bother obeying the laws, working hard to be an American citizen when they are handed more and more of OUR rights and benefits when they enter our country illegally!!! more and more they just hand over our country free for the taking to any illegal aliens who cross the border illegally
    THEY ALL SHOULD IMMEDIATELY DEPORTED… STOP ALL BENEFITS TO ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS…
    ANY DACA PEOPLE WHO ARE OF LEGAL AGE ARE NOW BREAKING THE LAWS OF OUR COUNTRY SAME AS THEIR ILLEGAL ALIEN PARENTS DID WHEN THEY ENTERED ILLEGALLY!!!
    PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP BEFORE WE HAVE NO COUNTRY ….

  6. avatar
    Charles Rodney on

    I think this is fake news media ! Because if churches did this they would be in a lot of serious trouble, close the church down and fine churches , there is a separation of church and state by law. Can’t break the law like this it’s crazy not happening.

    • avatar

      Where have you been? Churches break the law and everyone looks the other way. Faith Based funding with tax payer dollars is unconstitutional. We don’t know how much they get or where it goes.

  7. avatar

    is it legal? what churches are issuing these cards? they are breaking the law supporting “illegal” immigrants. I always was lead to believe “illegal” meant against the law! why are “illegal” immigrants still in this country & not being rounded up & sent back to their home country? who gave these churches authority to issue any kind of identification card & why would anyone accept it as legal proof of someone’s legal right to anything? wake up Texas before you’re Texico! are these churches denominations supporting this?

  8. avatar

    I would bet many of these churches are led by Hispanics who are sympathetic to the illegal immigrants, however they are still going against a Federal law and should therefore receive some punishment.

  9. avatar

    What kind of punishment should the church get since they disobeyed the law and knowing that it is very sinful to do such practice. Did the church give out ID cards in conjunction of monetary donation? We don’t know that… additional sinful act…

  10. avatar

    Aiding and abetting illegal aliens is a violation of federal law. When will we resume enforcing established immigration law?

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