Los Angeles ID Card for Immigrants

Los Angeles’ mayor is pushing to give more resources to immigrants. He plans on making city IDs available to anyone regardless of his or her immigration status.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says that he approves of this not just because it would give people proof of residency. He also says that the ID cards would allow people to get bank accounts, reducing the need to carry cash and consequently reducing crime in his city. He hopes to provide LA’s 4.3 million undocumented immigrants with ID cards.

If his plan is approved, the ID card will look like a student ID. It will include a photo, street address, date of birth, hair and eye color, height and weight. The card would cost between $10 and $20.

This is not a new plan. In the state of California, San Francisco and Oakland already have programs in place that allow anyone to obtain a city identification card regardless of whether he or she is eligible to get a state-issued driver’s license. This can include not just undocumented immigrants but also senior citizens who no longer drive and trangender people who have changed their appearance.

The programs are meant to unite communities and let everyone participate in civic life. However, many are against it. Some say these programs make it acceptable to be undocumented and that it should not be so.

Find out if you’re eligible for Deferred Action. Under the program, a state driver’s license can be issued to you, in addition to a two-year work authorization.