New York may soon become the largest city in the country to offer all residents - including undocumented immigrants - an ID card, making it easier to open up bank accounts, apply for employment and obtain a driver's license. Liberal Democratic Mayor Bill De Blasio made the proposal Monday in his state of the city address.
“To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, I say: New York City is your home, too, and we will not force any of our residents to live their lives in the shadows,” De Blasio said.
The proposal is expected to be approved by the City Council. The Council's first Hispanic president, Melissa Mark-Viverito, has expressed her support for this in the past.
Political scientist Angelo Falcon, who heads the National Institute for Latino Policy, says the proposal for a citywide ID, while not an easy thing for some legislators to endorse, "makes good sense economically, and it shows New York as an immigrant-friendly city."
Falcon adds it's safer for immigrants, who tend to carry cash if they do not have bank accounts, and it is good for the banking industry since they get more business.
Politically, Falcon says it shows the Mayor "is following up on his campaign promises and laying out an agenda that is progressive, which has been encouraging for many Latinos who supported his campaign."
De Blasio was elected with over 70 percent of the vote, promising to take "dead aim" at rising economic inequality.