Preliminary Plan for Undocumented Immigrant ID Cards OK'd

Plan gets preliminary approval from LA City Council committee

A proposed city card that would function as identification, a library card and a debit card for undocumented immigrants received preliminary approval Tuesday by a Los Angeles City Council committee.

The city's committee on Arts, Parks, Health and Aging on Tuesday approved the mayor-backed plan, similar to other ID cards already implemented in Oakland and San Francisco (pictured, below).

"People keep saying, 'why is a local city/government dealing with a federal issue?' We're dealing with people," said Councilman Ed Reyes. "There are laws that are good, laws that are bad. It's a huge city. …This ID allows them assimilate and become part of this great, great city."

Applicants will need to show at least two forms of ID, including a passport, utility bill or taxpayer ID number. The card would cost between $10 and $20, and would not cost taxpayers a dime, according to backers.

The card would not serve as a driver license.

Although much of the debate has focused on undocumented immigrants, Councilman Richard Alarcon said other groups would be eligible for the card.


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"High school students who would like to use a library card, but also would like to get a debit card for the first time … in order to get the debit card, they're going to have to get some information about financial literacy," he said.

The committee will meet again in 90 days to review the plan. From there, it would go to the City Council.

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