Minneapolis Considers ID Cards for Illegal Aliens
By Colton Overcash | August 9, 2018
Pro-amnesty groups are pressuring officials on the Minneapolis City Council to issue municipal identification cards to residents who are above the age of 14, regardless of their immigration status.
The municipal identification ordinance, which is in the early stages of development, would “allow [illegal aliens] to access basic services while safeguarding their privacy,” according to Mayor Jacob Frey (D).
If the city council moves to pass the ordinance, illegal aliens would be eligible for public benefits, including access to public transportation, applying for work authorization, opening bank accounts, and even applying for financial aid through Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education. All require identification in order to access benefits.
Similar ID programs have been established in other municipalities, like Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Rampant voter fraud is a top concern among critics who oppose municipal ID laws. While the Minneapolis city website states that the ID program will not serve as a form of voter identification, other municipalities like Chicago have allowed it as a form of identification to register to vote. In 2017, Chicago City Clerk Andrea Valencia distributed a letter to the Chicago City Council stating that municipal ID cards “can pass muster as one of the many types of identification that can be used as voter ID.”
The ordinance could prevent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials from enforcing federal law as municipal IDs typically lack some of the information needed to detain illegal aliens. Minneapolis may choose to model its ordinance after Chicago’s and not preserve any of the background information provided by the applicants, which could hinder ICE’s ability to use the data to identify and locate applicants who are illegal aliens.
Daniel Romeo, a spokesman for the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), said the ordinance would “reduce deportations” and keep illegal alien families together.
FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman said the ordinance is an “example of local government deciding on their own that they are going to aid and abet people who are violating laws.”
The ordinance would also expand Minneapolis’ existing protections for illegal aliens as it is already designated as a sanctuary city in a 2018 report by FAIR.
The ID program is expected to cost Minneapolis taxpayers at least to launch and perhaps maintain. The Mayor’s office has requested the city to provide an initial $250,000 to support to proposal.