Illegal immigrants in Minneapolis may soon be able to receive a municipal ID to “ensure equitable access to services, programs, and benefits.”.
A proposal to create a municipal ID program for Minneapolis residents, regardless of immigration status, sailed through a committee hearing Monday.
“Minneapolis strives to be a vibrant and welcoming city to all our residents,” the city website reads. “We are proud of this value and we want to show it – by having one identification card that shows We Are Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis is in the process of researching and planning a municipal ID program to ensure equitable access to services, programs, and benefits.”
Undocumented residents urged the city council to move forward with the proposal, citing challenges that come with no having an ID including difficulty opening a bank account or renting an apartment.
“There are too many people living together because they don’t have an ID to rent an apartment,” one individual, who was hesitant to provide his full name, shared at the meeting.
Another woman said she was a victim of domestic violence, but was afraid to call 911 due to a lack of identification.
Three banks have reportedly agreed to accept the municipal IDs as valid identification, and the IDs may eventually act as a transit pass and a library card. It will also be recognized by the Minneapolis Police Department.
City leaders, including Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, have expressed support for the proposal, and the full city council will vote on the issue December 7. If the proposal clears the city council, Frey has already set aside $200,000 from the city’s budget for the initial launch of the program.
The new ID system is the latest attempt by Minneapolis to support illegal immigrants. As a sanctuary city, Minneapolis prevents city officials and police officers from asking about the immigration status of individuals. However, some have expressed concern that the IDs, meant to help illegal immigrants, may put them at greater risk of being identified by federal immigration agents. In keeping with the city’s sanctuary city policies, city officials are looking into ways to protect the data of those using the program.
Last month, in another attempt to further Minneapolis’ sanctuary city status, Frey announced plans to place “Know Your ICE Rights” placards in police cars. All of the squad cars in the Minneapolis Police Department will now feature signs in the backseat that tell individuals they do not have to say where they were born, what their immigration status is, or whether they are a U.S. citizen. Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, called out the new policy, saying the move is “all too typical of the lunatic left.”
The full city committee meeting can be viewed here.