Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed offering undocumented immigrants a “City ID” photo-identification card in an effort to help them open bank accounts.
The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Villaraigosa wants the city to develop an ID program similar to cities like San Francisco, which offers photo identification to anyone who can prove residence, regardless of immigration status.
The proposal will be discussed in more detail during the Los Angeles City Council’s Oct. 16 meeting, but city officials said the proposed cards would include the same information found on a driver’s license — the resident’s name, photo, street address, birthday, hair and eye color. However, it would not act as a substitute for a driver’s license and recipients would not be able to use it for airline travel. Authorities would also have discretion on whether to recognize the card.
Villaraigosa has already said he intends for the IDs to also act as a pre-paid ATM card for the city’s 4.3 million undocumented immigrants. His proposal comes about a month after he expressed support for a proposal enabling local library cards to be used as a form of identification.
Last week, the city’s police chief, Charlie Beck, announced that his department would no longer hand over immigrants arrested for “low-level” crimes to federal authorities.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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