Statement In Support of a NYC Municipal ID Law

Juan Cartagena President & General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF

CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or

LatinoJustice PRLDEF supports the creation of NYC Municipal Identification Cards for New York City residents regardless of immigration status. The benefits to our immigrant population are enormous and these reforms are consistent with New York City’s unique role as a beacon to all immigrants to our country.

That said, a number of concerns have been raised by civil libertarians that question the balance between the integration of our immigrant communities with law enforcement actions that would pursue aggressive tactics to unfairly access the data necessary to obtain municipal ID’s especially among our undocumented resident populations.

Our supportive position recognizes the incredible path that immigrants have forged to obtain equal treatment under law. We commend the City Council for considering the creation of an official ID card especially since the bulk of Latino residents of the City would avail themselves of the opportunity to come out of the shadows –a major accomplishment for America’s urban areas. We also know that this administration – both in City Hall and in the Council – will do everything to protect confidential information consistent with the letter and the spirit of Executive Order 41, which amends Executive Order No. 34 which ensures the City officers and employees protect the confidentiality of this type of information.

In the end, the need to provide a path to normalizing status and access to benefits and services is paramount – and that is the goal of the Council’s efforts to establish a municipal ID law. Whatever additional measures that need to be taken to accomplish that goal and preserve confidentiality cannot lose sight of that major objective.

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