LA ID Cards will Now Function as Debit Cards for Illegal Immigrants

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LA ID Cards will Now Function as Debit Cards for Illegal Immigrants Powered By Docstoc
					             LA ID Cards will Now Function as Debit Cards for Illegal Immigrants

Los Angeles will become the first US city to offer identification cards to undocumented
immigrants. These new photo ID cards may be used by the undocumented immigrants to
obtain various services offered by the city. These library cards will benefit undocumented
immigrants who do not have proper immigration documents and the holder's name and
address will be printed on the card.
Undocumented immigrants need not live in shadows anymore and they can now come out of
their shadows and get access to various services. However, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, says
that these cards may be used as ID cards but they may not replace the driver's licenses and
the state IDs of California.
New Haven was the first city to grant ID cards to undocumented immigrants in the year 2007.
Similarly, many other cities like San Francisco and Oakland, followed this and issued ID cards
to undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants may use the library cards issued by
Los Angeles, as prepaid debit cards.
That is because undocumented immigrants do not keep money in the banks and most of
them are unable to open bank accounts as they do not have proper documents. As they do
not have bank accounts, they are forced to carry large sums of money with them and most of
them unable to keep their money safe are becoming victims of robbery.
Antonio Bernabe says that these Los Angeles ID cards mean a lot to the undocumented
immigrants who had been living in shadows, all these days. This ID card plan has drawn the
attention of immigrant-rights activists and business owners, and they also want the City
Council to implement the ID card plan.
Though this plan is supported by many, there are few people who are against this plan. A
spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Ira Mehlman, said that if
the undocumented immigrants are issued ID cards, the government may not be able to track
their actual identities.
Earlier, Los Angeles stopped seizing the vehicles of people who did not have their driver's
licenses and many undocumented immigrants were also permitted to keep their vehicles.
Following that, the police chief said that the undocumented immigrants may not be charged or
penalized for petty offenses.
Similarly the police chief also announced that such undocumented immigrants may not be
handed over to the US immigration officials for deportation. Now these library cards will permit
the undocumented immigrants to remain in the city and will also protect them from deportation.
These cards will allow the undocumented immigrants to deposit money in the banks and to
open new bank accounts. Hence, these cards will help them in many ways.

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