News / USA

    Immigrant-Friendly NYC Mayor Pushes Official IDs for All

    Immigrant-Friendly NYC Mayor Pushes Official IDs for Alli
    X
    Adam Phillips
    April 12, 2014 3:04 AM
    Immigration advocates in the United States continue to press for sweeping reforms that will clear a path to citizenship for all immigrants, including those without valid visas, and grant them access to many of the benefits and protections that U.S. citizens enjoy. VOA’s Adam Phillips files this report from immigrant-rich New York, where the new mayor is hoping to implement a new universal identity card program that will help undocumented immigrants move into the city’s mainstream.
    Immigrant-Friendly NYC Mayor Pushes Official IDs for All
    Adam Phillips
    Immigration advocates in the United States continue to press for sweeping reforms that will clear a path to citizenship for all immigrants, including those without valid visas, and grant them access to many of the benefits and protections that U.S. citizens enjoy. In immigrant-rich New York, the new mayor is hoping to implement a new universal identity card program that will help undocumented immigrants move into the city’s mainstream.

    Mere blocks from City Hall, immigration advocates rallied for what organizers billed as “A National Day of Action.”

    Nisha Agarwal, New York City’s Immigration Commissioner, represented Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has made sweeping immigration reform a centerpiece of his policy agenda.
    “So we’re here to support and also to show that New York is leading the way in terms of leading a pro-immigrant equality agenda but hopefully [one] that hopefully the nation will follow,” said Agarwal.

    Carlos Menchaca, chairman of the City Council’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, sponsored legislation to issue municipal ID cards to every New Yorker.

    “This legislation is designed to bring people out of the shadows and give them identification. This is for every New Yorker, it doesn’t matter your status. If you reside here, and you want to prove your identity, we want to give you a card,” said Menchaca.

    Advocates - like Bakari Tsandia - say this will help the city’s African Diaspora community.

    “… Because if you are undocumented, a person with an expired national ID, you will not be able to have access to certain buildings," said Tsandia. "You will not be able to open a bank account. You will not be able to have a regular life as a normal New Yorker.”

    Proponents argue that ID’s are key to economic empowerment in other ways. Without a valid ID, many new immigrants who drive taxis cannot get their driver’s licenses renewed.

    Without identity papers, parents cannot enter their children’s schools for parent-teacher conferences.  And advocates say children not born in the U.S. have another disadvantage.

    Bronx community leader Abrourazakou Bowa took a group of high schoolers to an event where IDs were examined at the door.

    “The youth who were born here were able to enter. But those who came without any ID, we left them outside. Because of the ID. I was so sad about those two youths,” said Bowa.

    Not everyone at the rally was in favor of reform. Peter Katalenas of New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement, has little sympathy for undocumented immigrants of any age.

    “We believe anybody who comes to this country without permission shouldn’t be here and shouldn‘t stay here. I wouldn’t want somebody to come to my house and live here with without my permission.

    I am sure most people don’t [want that either,” he said.

    Analysts agree that the ID law and other immigration reforms are likely to pass the New York City Council and be signed by de Blasio in the near future. Federal overhaul of immigration laws has been stalled for months in the U.S. Congress, however, and little action is expected from Washington prior to November’s midterm elections.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
    April 12, 2014 9:10 AM
    I believe the word that you may be looking for is illegal migrant, not immigrant. Immigrants file paperwork to become citizens, migrants do not. Call them what they really are, undocumented democrats. There already exists a clear path to citizenship. File the legal paperwork.

    by: wigglwagon from: appalachia
    April 12, 2014 7:04 AM
    Congress should institute a bill mandating prison time without parole for the employers of illegal workers. That would virtually end the problem of illegal immigration. That would also put at least 8 million American workers back on jobs and paying taxes instead of needing to collect unemployment and welfare.

    by: James Macdonald
    April 12, 2014 6:50 AM
    I live legally in NYC and pay income tax.

    I know 4 illegal aliens who live in the city. All of them work entirely off-the books jobs and therefore pay no income taxes.

    I don't want my taxes to be increased to pay the cost of a municipal ID card that mostly benefits people who are breaking the law by being in this country.
    In Response

    by: SS3107 from: New Jersey
    April 17, 2014 9:22 PM
    I live and work illegally in the US for 14 years already. I've been paying my taxes since day one and I believe I'm not the only one. There are really illegals that don't deserve the right to live here (criminals, drug dealers, gang members etc.) but there are also people that deserve those rights. I've been respecting this country, never had any problem with the law. I'm not in favor of legalization of every one but there must be a way for those who deserve.

    Thank you.
    In Response

    by: prince joy from: Nigeria
    April 13, 2014 10:36 AM
    Dont you think if they are turned legal and out of the shadow where they presently live, they will be able to pay those taxes you think they are not paying and your taxes will not only reduce, but there will economic buoyancy.
    In Response

    by: forumsforjustice from: USA
    April 12, 2014 6:54 PM
    A growing majority of the people are rightfully against legalization amnesty for illegal immigrants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora