Photo credit: Office of the Mayor
Photo credit: Office of the Mayor

New York City is taking one more step to proving their commitment to the city’s undocumented. On July 10, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to create a municipal ID card for all New York City residents. The legislation paves the way for the creation of a municipal ID for all residents of the five boroughs who meet the program’s proof of identity and city residency requirements.

“We cannot accept a city where some of our residents are forced to live fearfully in the shadows, unable to visit their child’s school or sign a lease,” de Blasio said. “This legislation will begin to provide New Yorkers with the dignity and peace of mind they deserve.”

Municipal ID will be an accessible and safe document that will ensure access to city services and grant admission to all municipal buildings. There’ll be walk-in enrollment centers in trusted community institutions around the boroughs where applicants can file for an ID card. The city is also creating mobile enrollment units that can travel to neighborhoods that do not have walk-in centers and have limited English proficiency.

The move paves the way for thousands of undocumented New Yorkers to be able to receive access to local resources and services. It’s estimated there are 75,000 to 125,000 undocumented Haitian immigrants in the country, with a large concentration in New York City, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Applicants will not be asked about their legal status when filing for the ID cards.

Implementation of the program is in immediate effect. The de Blasio administration aims to launch in January 2015. The card will be issued at no cost for applicants during the program’s first year.

“Our great city has long celebrated its heritage as a gateway to the American dream for so many people who leave their homeland in search of a better way of life,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said. “Mayor de Blasio’s signing of the municipal ID bill marks a great stride toward helping all undocumented residents achieve this dream.”

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