New York City has rolled out its municipal ID program, which is set to greatly benefit the city’s undocumented immigrants - including thousands of Irish.
The program is expected to the largest of its kind in the entire country; other cities including San Francisco and New Haven have already implemented similar programs but have seen limitied enrollment, with less than one per-cent of their populations registering.
The City Council passed legislation on the municipal IDs in June, with 43 voting in favor and three opposed. The program is intended to draw the city’s undocumented immigrants, homeless population and other groups of people for whom obtaining a government-issued form of identification has proved problematic.
The card will open a number of previously closed doors: several banks and credit unions will accept it as sufficient documentation for opening a bank account, and it will also offer holders discounts on necessary prescription drugs. It will be accepted as a library card across the city’s public library systems, and as incentive it will offer free or discounted memberships to museums and zoos.
In response to concerns about privacy, the city has confirmed that it will not share the information applicants provide with any other government agencies or external groups - except, the New York Times reports, “‘for purposes of verifying the applicant’s eligibility for additional city benefits, services and care,’ or in response to a judicial subpoena or warrant. Cardholders will also be told if their information has been sought.”
To learn more or to apply for the Municipal ID program, click here.