Minneapolis Officials Moving Toward Offering City ID Cards
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis officials are moving closer to offering city identification cards that would be available regardless of a person's immigration status.
The ordinance is in its early stages and is set to be presented to the Minneapolis City Council before the year's end, the Star Tribune reported. The identification card would be available to anyone in Minneapolis above 14 years old — regardless of immigration status, gender identity or whether they have a home.
Council member Alondra Cano, chief sponsor of the ordinance, said the identification card is being designed to meet many "constituency needs," not just those of the immigrant community.
"We are talking about homeless people, young people, elderly people, the GLBTQ community," Cano said.
Activists from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, which is pushing for the new program, filled the city hall chamber on Friday with fliers that read: "ICE separates families right here in Minneapolis. Protect them with a Municipal ID now."
"Our communities are suffering," Daniel Romero, a volunteer and leader with the group, told council members. "You know what's happening in our country today and you have the ability, it's in your power, to change that in the city of Minneapolis."
Cano said officials are proposing incentives for people who get the identification cards such as discounted parking. They could also work as a library card and help people open bank accounts.
Under the current plan, the card would list a person's name, address and date of birth, with gender optional.
City council members and the mayor support the ordinance. Advocates of tougher immigration enforcement portray such programs as encouraging people not to follow the law.