Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pushing for ID cards for immigrants, which would give them access to city services including a bank account, reports the Huffington Post.
"It will be an official ID," Villaraigosa said. "It will be as strong an effort as San Francisco's."
With an estimated 4.3 million immigrants living in Los Angeles, the card could be used as a prepaid ATM card which would provide access to a private bank account. Supporters claim that these cards would reduce crime, as immigrants would be able to put their money on card, as opposed to carrying around cash. An official ID would also make it easier to use city services and identify themselves to law officials.
Critics believe that the plan promotes illegal immigration, and is helping immigrants who are here illegally be able to stay in the country.
"Los Angeles is making it easier for people who have violated federal immigration laws to live in the city," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group critical of illegal immigration.
According to the mayor's office, card applicants would have to meet certian criteria and that it would resemble a student ID. It would not replace a driver's license, and law agencies could choose whether they will recognize the card. The card would be around ten to twenty dollars, with a few dollars a month going towards the debit service, should one choose to participate.
What do you think of the plan? Are these ID cards a good idea? Share in the comments!