It's Saturday, but City Hall is open to accommodate a new demand for Plainfield's Municipal ID card.
In 2016, 111 people enrolled, City Clerk Abubakar Jalloh said, but since the first of this year 217 more have obtained the ID, which he said is accepted by all branches of municipal government, including the Police Division.
Jalloh said today City Hall Library is full of applicants for the ID, which requires use of a special computer and printer. His office on the first floor of City Hall will be open until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays as well as from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays to meet the demand. The office will need an additional computer and printer to speed up the process.
"We are currently booked into the last week of March," he said, noting at an average of 40 a day times 33 days, the office plans to book and issue IDs to 1,500 to 2,000 additional people over the present total of 328.
At the "Day Without Immigrants" rally on Feb. 16, Maritza Martinez of the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs urged participants to apply for the Municipal ID (note an application in the hands of a man at lower right).
The view in the photo is from the steps of City Hall, where the rally began at noon and continued for hours as stores and restaurants were shuttered to demonstrate how Plainfield would look without immigrants. Similar rallies took place in cities across the nation to show the value of immigrants to the economy.
Since then, the Trump administration has launched roundups of immigrants from communities, ostensibly to remove dangerous individuals, but sweeping up innocent people as well. Plainfield has passed legislation designating the city as "fair and welcoming," meaning in part that local law enforcement will not assist in ICE raids. (Plaintalker will post separately on the legislation.)
Click to learn about Plainfield's Municipal ID