By: Wazobia Staff
There seems to be reprieve for undocumented immigrants in Detroit. The City Council has signed off on creating a municipal ID card program for those who may be reluctant or ineligible to apply for a state identification but want access to services.
According to The Detroit News, cards will provide the homeless, senior citizens, immigrants and others with additional means to access city programs, services and activities and provide identification to law enforcement.
The cards won’t provide benefits over a state ID, but the requirements tied to obtaining one would be easier for some. A municipal ID also does not replace a driver’s license or state ID card, officials stressed.
Each card will be valid for up to two years and requires renewal. Application fees are not to exceed $25. The fee for minors, those 14-17 years old, will not be more than $10, according to the statute..
The program will be administered by the Duggan administration’s Immigrant Affairs office, directed by Fayrouz Saad.
The city plans to begin issuing the IDs in August and will establish locations to apply for the cards by the fall, said Alexis Wiley, chief of staff to Mayor Mike Duggan.
Over the next few months, the administration will work to get banks and other institutions to ensure the cards will be accepted, she added.
The city will work with community groups in August to start a pilot. The program may initially be funded with quality of life loan dollars. Officials expect that the program could pay for itself with revenues from card fees.
“This move helps our community’s most vulnerable, from our homeless to the elderly to undocumented immigrants,” Duggan said in a statement. “Everyone in our city will now be able to do the things that many of us take for granted, whether it’s getting a library card, opening a bank account or accessing city services
Cities which have adopted the municipal ID program include New York, San Francisco and California. The cards will at least display each cardholder’s name, photograph, address, date of birth, signature, identification card number and an expiration date, according to the ordinance.
To obtain the card, individuals must prove identity and residency and be evaluated on a point system.Suitable documents to establish identity range from foreign or U.S. passports to state, veteran or employee ID cards and visas, homeless database information, educational institutions, state prisoner information cards, Social Service agency identification, bank records and others.
To verify Detroit residency, applicants can provide utility or credit card statements, unexpired housing lease or rental agreements, vehicle titles, insurance policies, letters from religious, social service or domestic violence groups and medical records