New York mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that city ID cards will be available to all undocumented immigrants. The decision could help up to 15,000 Irish undocumented in the city.
De Blasio was speaking at his first State of the City address.
"We will reach out to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status," de Blasio announced, "issuing municipal ID cards available to all New Yorkers this year—so that no daughter or son of our city goes without bank accounts, leases, library cards…simply because they lack identification."
State Senators Adriano Espaillat and Jose Peralta, who had been pushing for a move such as this as well as state driver’s licenses for undocumented, issued this joint statement:
“For immigrant families in New York City whose undocumented status leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by unethical employers, landlords and scam artists, Mayor de Blasio’s municipal ID card will change lives for the better.
"Under our current system, immigrants’ inability to obtain a government ID excludes them from services most people take for granted, and makes it harder for them to provide for their children. But with incredible momentum in Albany and across the country, we can’t let up the fight to accomplish what 11 states and the District of Columbia have already done – passing legislation giving immigrants the opportunity to earn legal driving privileges.
"When we look across the country and see our neighbors in Connecticut, big states with major cities like Illinois and California, and a deep red state like Utah all taking this sensible step forward, there is no reason why the issue remains unaddressed in New York. As comprehensive reform remains stalled in Washington, we applaud Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to helping vulnerable immigrant communities.
"Once in place, this initiative will help dispel the baseless and xenophobic arguments opponents have used to block this needed reform for too long.“