De Blasio to give undocumented immigrants access to municipal IDs

According to a recent article, newly elected New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, will soon make a New York City municipal ID available to city residents regardless of immigration status. According to Mayor de Blasio, the ID “will protect almost half-million undocumented New Yorkers, whose voices too often go unheard.”De Blasio

The measure is a fulfillment of a major promise de Blasio made during his campaign. The ID will allow undocumented residents access to numerous city services. In addition, according to de Blasio, it will help foster better relations between police and those who may choose not to report a crime out of fear they will be deported because they lack legal immigration status.  In support of this, de Blasio points to New Haven, CT, which saw a 20 percent decline in crime in the two years following the introduction of a municipal ID. If the measure goes through, New York City will join several other prominent cities, including San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in providing IDs to their residents.

The Mayor’s proposal received support from New York state senators Adriano Espaillat and Jose Peralta. The senators expressed their support in a joint statement while also highlighting the need for allowing immigrants in the state to apply for driver’s licenses.  As the senators explained, extending access to driver’s licenses to immigrant residents is necessary because “it is unacceptable that hardworking immigrants are made to break the law in order to commute to work or take their kids to school.”

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