Valley Interfaith Clarifies Local Parish ID Strategy

Brownsville, TX.

By Francisco E. Jimenez, Originally Published by The Monitor

(Re-posted with permission)

Bishop Daniel Flores addresses the standing-room only crowd at the Pharr Development and Research Center on Tuesday evening. (Francisco E. Jimenez/ The Monitor)

PHARR — Following a meeting at the Pharr Development and Research Center on Tuesday evening, Jose Hinojosa of Valley Interfaith responded to some questions regarding the new parish identification cards.

“ID cards can only be used for identification purposes, it is not a government issued card and cannot be used to vote, does not take place of drivers licence,” explained Hinojosa in an email on Wednesday morning. “Right now leaders have negotiated with McAllen, Pharr, Edinburg and Brownsville. We want all cities in the valley to recognize it and leaders will start working with individual cities.”

As previously reported, the parish identification strategy is intended to provide all members of participating parishes with a way to identify themselves to local law enforcement, particularly those individuals who have immigrated to the United States and do not have a state-issued ID.

“Police Chief (Cesar) Torres from Edinburg, Chief (Jose A.) Luengo from Pharr, and Captain (Irene) Luna representing Chief (Victor) Rodriguez of McAllen all agreed to accept parish ID as a form of identification,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa also explained the ID cards are not exclusive to local Catholic churches.

“Fr. Kevin Collins emphasized that parish ID’s are not strictly for Catholic churches, any church that is interested in joining the effort is welcome,” Hinojosa said. “The effects of SB4 is not limited to Catholics.”

SB4 is the Texas law in which local governments and law enforcement agencies assist federal immigration officers.


In this additional photo from the event not taken by The Monitor, Fr. Kevin Collins, OMI, Pastor of St. Eugene de Mazenod Parish in Brownsville (2nd from left) participates in a panel.