'Green Card' to Take on Pink Hue

Call it a pink card.

U. S. immigration officials Wednesday unveiled the new document that is being issued to legal permanent resident foreigners. It will replace the long-cherished "green card," which, in fact, hasn't been green for several decades, the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said.

The face of the new card, known formally as an I-551 form, will have a "rose" or "off-pink" color, an INS press release stated, and the back will have a "pink to blue rainbow effect shading on the top portion, with the bottom portion being white." Like its predecessor, it will contain the photograph, signature and fingerprint of the bearer.

But there is more here than just a color change.

The new card, noted Vicki Quainton, acting deputy INS district director in San Diego, will replace a version that has been frequently duplicated by fraudulent means. Many thousands of false "green cards" are in circulation, the INS concedes.

The key aspect of the new card, the INS says, is that it will be readable by computerized machines, a fact that will make it easier to authenticate at ports of entry and at INS offices nationwide.

Another major difference: The new cards will have to be renewed every 10 years. The previous cards were issued permanently.

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