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| Immigrant Rights - Expanding Municipal ID Cards, Building an Immigrant Justice Initiative
Published By:Center for Popular Democracy

New Toolkit Puts Municipal ID Within Reach of Legislators Across Country

Immigrants benefit from municipal ID programs in New York, Newark, and Hartford

Today, Center for Popular Democracy is releasing a new guide to setting up municipal ID Building Identity: A Toolkit for Designing and Implementing a Successful Municipal ID Program, to take the fight for immigrant dignity to cities across the country.

Municipal IDs allow all residents, regardless of immigration status, gender identity, or other characteristics, to open a bank account or cash a check, see a doctor at a hospital, register their child for school, apply for public benefits, file a complaint with the police department, borrow a book from a library, vote in an election, or even collect a package from the post office. Municipal ID removes all of these barriers with a single stroke.

To mark the release of the toolkit, immigrant New Yorkers who have benefited from the municipal ID program will gather on the front steps of City Hall, NYC, at 11am to call for other cities across the country to adopt similar programs. 

In addition to New York City, grassroots organization have successfully passed municipal ID programs in major cities like Newark and Hartford, improving the lives of immigrant communities and underserved populations. Center for Popular Democracy’s new toolkit will help like-minded leaders in other parts of the country create similar programs.

Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of Center for Popular Democracy, stated: “In each city we pass municipal ID, the immediate outpouring of immigrant families eager to cement their status as members of communities is heartening. Immigrants’ history and contributions make them central parts of our communities across the country. This toolkit symbolizes the effort, partnerships, and strong bonds that will take the fight for immigrant justice to the next level in cities across the country.”

Ruth Pacheco, Make the Road New York member and Queens resident, who has two school-age children, said: “My municipal ID has opened many important doors for me, whether at my children’s school, the bank, or the library. Before, when I had to meet with my children’s teachers, they wouldn’t let me in without ID. Now the IDNYC solves that problem. Before, to open a bank account or present myself at the bank, I had to bring my passport, which was risky. Now the IDNYC solves that problem.”

“The municipal identification program—now IDNYC—is a hallmark of our City and a testament to how robustly we want to engage with New Yorkers of all experiences. This program, as we anticipated, has been particularly helpful to those who have a historic disconnect with governments of all levels. For those people, this municipal identification ogram has changed the game. The level at which people are engaging with government, and with one another in their communities is something that should be modeled and I am heartened that now, with this announcement from the Center for Popular Democracy, other cities will be able to do just that,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.



The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda.