Dallas, Texas, May 8, 2018 / 16:09 pm America/Denver (CNA).
For undocumented immigrants in Texas, something as simple as a routine traffic stop could mean arrest and deportation.
Since an anti-sanctuary law was enacted this spring, Texas law enforcement officers are permitted to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they have detained, even during routine interactions, and must comply with federal guidelines to hold undocumented criminal suspects for possible deportation.
Despite promises that the law would not lead to racial profiling and unnecessary arrests, its passage has left many immigrants feeling uneasy in their communities.
Father Michael Forge, a Catholic priest in Farmers Branch, Texas, told Dallas News that since the anti-sanctuary law was passed, several of his undocumented parishioners have told him that they felt unsafe to going to church or taking their kids to school.
That’s why Forge and several other local Catholic churches have begun issuing Church identification cards. Unlike state-issued identification, they do not have any legal significance, but they can provide officers with a name and address, assuaging for some card holders the fear of arrest during otherwise routine interactions.