CHICAGO (CBS) — Residents of Cook County who have trouble getting official government documents might be able to get an ID card from Cook County.

Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said the identification cards would help the homeless, people recently released from prison, and undocumented immigrants who rely on county services.

“In the dark climate of xenophobia and divisiveness at the national level, here at Cook County we can choose to be inclusive and welcoming,” he said.

Garcia said the cards could help in a number of ways.

“Applying for marriage or civil union licenses, obtaining copies of case files and court information with the Clerk of the Court, requesting medical records and picking up prescriptions at the County Health Systems, visiting a family member or loved one at Cook County Jail,” he said.

Commissioner John Fritchey said the card is not meant to compete with a similar ID card in the works in Chicago, after the City Council approved a program for municipal ID cards in April. The county program would just serve a different population.

“Cook County has about 5 million people. About half of them don’t live in the city of Chicago,” he said.

Fritchey and Garcia did not offer specific examples of the documentation that would be required to obtain a county ID. The two Democrats planned to introduce a proposed ordinance at the next Cook County Board meeting on July 19.

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