Undocumented immigrants in New York get ID cards to open bank accounts

Article subtitle: 
New IDNYC card, introduced in New York on Monday, will give undocumented immigrants an ID card to open bank accounts and enter federal buildings
Article author: 
Daniel A Medina
Article publisher: 
The Guardian
Article date: 
12 January 2015
January 2016
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Lupe is a 35-year-old mother of three who immigrated to New York in 2003 from the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz. On Monday, she says, “The system will acknowledge for the first time that I exist.”

The reason: New York City will unveil a new municipal ID program that could bring big changes for the city’s large undocumented population. Though all residents will be eligible to apply for the new ID, called IDNYC, undocumented New Yorkers are expected to benefit most .

“I’m basically invisible in this city without proper identification,” said Lupe, who refused to provide her surname due to her immigration status. “My husband and I work hard every day, we have children and the security that something as simple as an ID card will give us cannot be overstated” ...

However, for all the benefits that the city’s ID program will provide, there are limits to what it can do. The card will not grant city, state or federal benefits and, most importantly, will not be considered a work authorization permit, says Chishti [Muzzaffar Chishti, an expert on US immigration policy who heads the office for the Migration Policy Institute] ...

While he credits the ID as a symbolic gesture by the mayor that he intends to see through reforms to city immigration policy, he says the challenge ultimately remains to bring this underground workforce into the formal economy.

One solution could be President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, announced last November, which would grant temporary legal status to as many as five million undocumented immigrants across the country. In New York City alone, 155,000 residents will be eligible, city officials confirmed to the Guardian.

As US residents for over a decade and parents to two children born in the country and a third that qualifies for permanent residency under the Dream Act, Lupe and her husband would be eligible for the government’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, known as Dapa ...