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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs