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Overnight Lacey lot may fingerprint homeless if they don’t have ID

(KIRO 7 photo)

The city of Lacey may fingerprint homeless people who want to sleep in an overnight lot.

Last month, the city passed a no-camping ordinance, which bans people living in tents and RVs in public places. But local law requires a place for them to go.

A proposed overnight lot would be fenced off with restrooms and security. Those who want to stay must show ID before entering. Without one, they would need to be fingerprinted, reports KIRO 7.

“In 2003 in San Francisco they came up with this thing called Care Not Cash and it was if you went into a shelter to receive the benefits that were going to be offered you had to have your fingerprint,” KIRO Radio’s John Curley said. “People then said, ‘No that’s not fair, it’s going to discourage people that are illegal immigrants from coming in or people that might have priors.'”

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“They didn’t want to get run through some sort of database and kicked out or sent back to their country. So they sort of fought that as best as they possibly could and eventually overturned it.”

At the moment, this particular proposition in Lacey seemingly hasn’t stirred up a great deal of opposition or controversy.

“There is no evidence that there’s any outrage over this,” said co-host Tom Tangney. “Lacey passed a law that says you can’t do this (sleep) in public places. The law also says that you have to offer these people a place to stay. And I think the idea is if you’re going to establish that you’ve got no weapons, no crime, no drinking, no drugs, and all of this than asking them to produce an ID doesn’t seem like a civil liberties issue that I’m aware of.”

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“In this case all they’re doing is keeping track of who they are, and if it’s a run as a database for safety reasons that’s a good thing. It’s a way to keep these places safe.”

A public meeting on the proposed Lacey lot will take place next week.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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