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Connecticut city approves IDs for undocumented immigrants

[JURIST] The New Haven, Connecticut Board of Alderman has voted 25-1 [press release] to fund a program advanced by Mayor John DeStefano Jr. [official profile] that will provide a municipal identification card to all residents, including the approximately 15,000 undocumented immigrants that reside in New Haven. DeStefano hailed Monday's vote as a "great decision for New Haven," saying that "no longer will any resident in New Haven have to live nameless." DeStefano also emphasized the importance of allowing undocumented immigrants to "safeguard their hard earned money" by opening bank accounts, which DeStefano says will reduce crimes targeting immigrants. The cards, which will be available at a cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children beginning in July and will not distinguish citizens from undocumented, will also allow cardholders to access public libraries, parks and recreational sites, and other municipal services as well as act as debit cards and pay for parking meters.

New Haven's proposal contrasts with immigration [JURIST news archive] ordinances adopted in other local communities like a city ordinance [DOC text; JURIST report] in Farmers Branch, Texas which would bar landlords from renting apartments to most undocumented immigrants. The ordinance has been blocked [JURIST report] by a US federal judge as legal challenges [JURIST report] are underway. Congress is currently working on a comprehensive immigration reform bill [S 1348 summary; JURIST report]. AP has more.

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