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New York To Issue IDs to Undocumented Immigrants

July 15, 2014

New York To Issue IDs to Undocumented Immigrants

Author:  New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

The story with identification cards for undocumented began when states started to refuse issuing Id’s to those who could not prove their immigration status  in the US. With time, some states opted out and passed local laws that allowed for different forms of identification for “illegal” immigrants: Illinois, Utah, Washington, Washington DC, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Maryland allow those who cannot show a visa to get state “ID-s”.

Surprisingly, New York, a pioneer in many innovations where nations and religions are blended like a mix of multicultural cuisines in  Manhattan, has not yet allowed its residents, even illegal ones, to enjoy the privilege of being able to identify themselves using a state plastic card.

New York City, tired of waiting for the State to move on the issue, decided to pass its own legislation that allows undocumented men, women and children to apply for and receive a resident ID. The Bill was in fact passed and signed by Mayor on July 10, 2014.  There is no information if such an ID will be recognized on Federal level, and if it will help to avoid state wide punishments for not possessing valid ID: for example, driving without a driver’s license.

It is however, a first step towards recognition that “illegal” and “undocumented” are not ghosts in our society, they would not just disappear one morning, and they, people who pay taxes and develop our economy deserve a little better than a five year struggle to pass an Immigration reform…