Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Commentary on IDs and "The Plainfields"

Norman Ortega's latest scheme is to have Plainfield's new municipal ID program expanded to North Plainfield and South Plainfield

Never mind that these municipalities are in three different counties and that the Queen City's neighbors to the north and south have historically tried to distance themselves with new names such as Stony Brook and Hadley. Forget the small matter of staffing and costs to expand the ID program. Without any authority to do so, Ortega is attempting to broker his plan to officials in the other municipalities and anyone opposed to it, he declares, is no better than a racist or a homophobe.

This is big talk from a guy who called his run for City Council "a social experiment," as if voters were lab rats. He netted 320 votes out of a possible 9,243 in Wards 1 and 4 - not exactly a mandate from the electorate to take charge of things.

After telling the mayors what he thinks they should do, he characterizes their possible noncompliance with his plan as "ignoring our plight because we are Latinos." No, if they don't bend to Ortega's will, it is more likely that they know an ordinance passed in a city does not become law in a neighboring borough by way of a chance meeting in a car wash.

Undoubtedly I will be called an "operative" or worse for questioning Ortega's plan. I was an early target of his in November 2014. Unfortunately, his contributions to Plainfield Latino have not advanced much since then in veracity or logic, so every once in a while, I just have to comment.



  1. Who elected him Mayor ?? Ohhhhhhhh.. that's right, no one.

  2. Barry Goode won with the support of just 11.6% of the eligible voters in Wards 1&4. Not much of a mandate there either.

    1. Barry Goode wasn't running for Mayor...

  3. Is Mr. Ortega our local Trump? He has no credibility in Plainfield or neighboring towns no matter what their background is. You think he would get the hint. No one buys the "pity us because we are Latinos" ploy. I would think that is an insult to all Latinos who are hard working people who need no pity.

  4. Norman Ortega seems to be to be the type of person who just needs attention, any kind and at any cost.

    He is doing nothing for the Latino community, and what is sad, is that many don't see it. You don't have to be Latino, or Black, or Jewish, or white, to want the best for all - regardless of background. Unfortunately, too many people trust those who have a superficial connection, and disregard the fact that there is nothing substantive behind it. Norman Ortega does nothing for Latinos and everything to keep himself in the spotlight at their expense. Sad.

  5. I have a better idea how to improve our municipality's battered image. Plainfield was the reference point, when our neighbors on the north and the south picked their own municipal names. That used to be very common throughout the U.S., though today, people say it doesn't give a community enough of an independent image.

    Let's reverse the situation and take advantage of the fact that these two neighbors have better reputations than we do. We could become either North South Plainfield, or South North Plainfield. Any opinions on which one would do us more good?

    1. We could go way back and be the Plain Fields of West Fields.

  6. The creation of a municipally-issued form of identification is beneficial to a community’s residents who lack some other official form of ID. Those of us with identification take for granted the number of times that identification is needed in the course of day-to-day life, whether when opening a bank account, getting the services of a notary, and in teracting with the police, to name just a few such instances. Many would benefit, including senior citizens, people who don’t drive, recent parolees, undocumented immigrants, and others.

    After adoption of Plainfield’s ID last week, El Centro Hispanoamericano and The Latin American Coalition are reaching out to officials in North Plainfield and South Plainfield to encourage their consideration of similar measures in their own towns. These two organizations have between them more than 55 years providing legal and humanitarian assistance to immigrants in Central New Jersey.

    In our conversations with officials in our neighboring municipalities, we will be sharing the fine work done by the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs (PACHA) and the Plainfield City Administration which resulted in a city-issued identification card which: 1) is likely to be widely accepted; and 2) protects the privacy of those to whom the card is issued.

    Randy Schaeffer
    Chair, Board of Trustees
    El Centro Hispanoamericano

  7. Norman is a separatist, always was and always will be. How many times does it have to be said that this is not a Latino issue? It was not done specifically for Latinos. It was passed for EVERY citizen of Plainfield that needs an ID. I think his time would be better spent trying to support inclusive issues here than always crying everyone/everything is set up to alienate Latinos.

  8. I'm sorry but I never had any dealings with requesting identification for any reason but just courious - When a person comes into this country legally, aren't they give a visa, green card, possess a passport or some type of an official document?

    I just don't see how a local ID card proves anything other than saying - Hey, I live in Plainfield.

    If you file your Federal taxes on line, and don't possess a drivers license, you are asked for a State ID number. Will our local officials be contacting the Federal Government and ask them to revise their E-filing to include Please enter your State ID or City of Plainfield ID number.

    Such a waste of time and money and duplication of what the State already does.

  9. The answer to the questions in the first paragraph is, "Yes". If you can answer "Yes", Municipal I.D. cards are irrelevant.

  10. To 2:30p You make a good point, but reality is that we are not talking about people who are in this country legally.

    If I am incorrect, and those who come into this country legally, but have no ID, please let me know.

  11. I thought these cards were for the homeless, seniors and others who just couldn't, for some reason, seem to be able to get a legitimate ID. I didn't realize North and South Plainfield had the same problem with their homeless and seniors.

    1. I think it’s safe to say we all know these are largely for the illegal immigrants in Plainfield. Anyone born here in the US wouldn’t have a problem getting an ID whether they’re seniors, vagrants, recent parolees et cetera.

      Unless you were born 1930 or early, at home or something along those lines, all you need is a birth certificate to get the process going. My mother was born 1930 and she has a birth certificate.

      If you migrate here legally you shouldn’t have a problem getting a state issued ID. You should have a passport, visa or something similar.

      We should call it what it is and stop sugar coating it. As long as it’s done correctly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing,

    2. to 11:18 - legitimate ID? There's nothing legitimate about a City issued ID which can't be used or for anything other than to show they are a Plainfield resident which would not be considered proof of identification.

      In California - these are the type of documents to prove identity.
      To Prove Identity
      Some Combination of the following is usually
      ■ US or Foreign Passport
      ■ US Driver’s License
      ■ US State ID
      ■ US Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
      ■ Consular Identification (CID)
      ■ Certified Copy of US or Foreign Birth
      ■ Social Security Card
      ■ National ID Card with photo, name,
      address,date of birth, and expiration date
      ■ Foreign Driver’s License
      ■ US or Foreign Military Identification Card
      ■ Current Visa issued by a government agency
      ■ US Individual Taxpayer Identification
      Number (ITIN) authorization letter
      ■ Educational Institution Identification Card:
      elementary, middle, secondary and post secondary schools

      These are the type of documents to prove residency -
      ■ Utility bill
      ■ Local property tax statement or mortgage
      payment receipt
      ■ Bank account statement
      ■ Proof of a minor currently enrolled in a local
      ■ Employment pay stub
      ■ Jury summons or court order issued by a state or federal court
      ■ Federal or state income tax or refund statement
      ■ Insurance bill (homeowner’s, renter’s,
      health, life or automobile insurance)
      ■ Written verification issued by a homeless shelter that receives City funding confirming at least 15 days residency.
      ■ Written verification issued by a hospital, health clinic or social services agency that receives City funding confirming at least 15
      days residency.

      So the City's ID card will only prove residency - not identification.

  12. How to get a real sate issued ID -


    Non-driver identification card

    New Jersey residents 14 years of age and older, may apply for a non-driver photo identification. The non-driver ID is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive.

    How to get a non-driver identification card
    • Complete the front side of a non-driver ID application (BA-207 form)
    • Pass the 6 Point ID requirements
    • Pay $24 fee.

    How to get one
    • Visit your local MVC Agency or call to request an application (BA-207 form) at (609) 292-6500
    • Complete front side of the application
    • Have a physician complete certification portion
    • Pass the 6 Point ID requirements
    • Pay $6 initial photo fee

    Civil birth certificate* or certified copy from one of
    the 50 states, District of Columbia or a US territory.
    Photocopies or certificates from hospitals or religious
    entities are not accepted.
    Please read IMPORTANT INFORMATION above.
    US Department of State birth certificate
    (Form FS-545, FS-240 or DS-1350)
    US passport, current or expired less than
    3 years
    Current US Passport card
    Current NJ digital driver license
    Current NJ digital non-driver ID card
    Current NJ digital boat license
    Valid active duty US military photo ID card
    US adoption papers
    Certificate of naturalization
    (Form N-550, N-570 or N-578)
    Certificate of citizenship
    (Form N-560, N-561 or N-645)
    CHOOSE PRIMARY DOCUMENTS  You must show at least ONE of these


    [ Additional requirement(s) may apply; call 888-486-3339 ]

    Foreign passport with INS or USCIS verification and valid
    record of arrival/departure (Form I-94)
    Foreign passport with INS or USCIS verification and valid
    Form I-551 stamp
    Current alien registration card (new Form I-551) with expiration
    date and verification from INS or USCIS
    Refugee travel document (Form I-571)
    US re-entry permit (Form I-327)
    Valid I-94 stamped “Refugee,” “Parolee,” “Asylee” or “Notice
    of Action” (Form I-797 approved petition) by INS or USCIS
    Valid I-94 with attached photo stamped “Processed for I-551…” by
    INS or USCIS
    Current photo employment authorization card (Form I-688B
    or I-766).
    Must be presented with valid Social Security card.
    Current alien registration card (old Form I-551) without
    expiration date and with INS or USCIS verification
    Photo temporary resident card (Form I-688)
    Do you have 6 points? POINTS OF PRIMARY DOCUMENTS

  13. This is nothing more than a money-making scam for those who are involved. This ID is good for nothing and not accepted outside of Plainfield.

    Another scheme by the same people professing to help those in need. More of the same self-interested non-sense.