Friday, June 27, 2014
From Bloomberg News:
New York City’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants will be able to open bank accounts, visit libraries and use medical clinics, thanks to an official municipal identification card approved by the City Council.
The measure, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, passed in a 43 to 3 vote today with two abstentions. The photo IDs will display the holder’s name, birth date, address and -- at the cardholder’s option -- a self-designated gender.
“It sends a simple and clear message that we are a city that believes in including everyone,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said before the vote. “We don’t accept that some people can be left out because of their immigration status, how they identify their gender or whether they may be homeless.”
In a city where 40 percent of residents were born outside the U.S., politicians may gain support backing legislation that would help undocumented newcomers lease an apartment or apply for school or city services. Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 6 to 1 , and as much as 20 percent of party voters are Latino, said Jerry Skurnik, a New York-based demographic-political consultant.
“Hispanics who are citizens and voters are pro-immigration; they want their families, friends and countrymen to come here,” Skurnik said in an interview. “And in a liberal city like New York, most people are pro-immigration anyway.” Read more...