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Detroit Makes ID Cards Available for Everyone, Regardless of Immigration Status

detroit-1714938_640-300x200The City of Detroit is issuing identification cards to all eligible residents, allowing them to avail of city services available only to holders of official IDs. Dubbed the “Detroit ID,” the identification card is available to all Detroit residents 14 years and older, regardless of their immigration status. City officials say the card will help holders open bank accounts, enter libraries and cultural institutions, and avail of discounts offered by several business in the city.

According to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, “We’re trying to build a city where everybody is included, where everybody is valued, and everybody can access the basic services of the city in a way that doesn’t cause them stress.”

“For most of us that have driver’s licenses, we don’t know what the experience is not to have ID and how hard everyday life can be,” he added.

Detroit is looking to issue as many as 35,000 identification cards within the first two years of the program’s launch. The Detroit ID, however, will not replace a state ID or driver’s license, but several local departments and agencies, such as the city’s water, health, and police departments, as well as the city land bank, will still recognize it.

The Detroit program launches just two days after Republican politicians filed suit to block New York City from destroying the personal records of immigrants with ID cards. Detroit officials have considered doing the same in order to prevent the information from being as a tool for deportation under a Trump administration.

Each Detroit ID will show the cardholder’s name, photograph, address, date of birth, ID number, signature, and expiration date. The ID costs $25 for adults, while youth and seniors only need to pay $10. Residents who are unable to afford the identification card’s application fees can also avail of discounted rates.

To apply for the ID card, Detroit residents must first provide proof of identity and residency. Documents that can be used for identification purposes include:

  • Foreign or U.S. passports
  • Veteran, employee, or state ID cards and visas
  • Documents from the homeless database
  • School identification cards
  • State prisoner information cards
  • Social Service agency information
  • Bank records

To establish residency, applicants can provide the following:

  • Utility bills
  • Credit card bills
  • Valid house lease or rental contracts
  • Vehicle titles
  • Insurance policies
  • Letters from religious groups, as well as social service and domestic violence organizations
  • Medical records

In Texas, things could not be more different. Texas Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Pitts, have passed an immigration law requiring anyone applying for or renewing a driver’s license in the state to present proof of legal residency or citizenship. The law will require the Texas Department of Public Safety to ask questions on immigration status before approving licenses.

If you or anyone you know has questions about other state laws on immigration and policies concerning identification cards, talk to the immigration law team of Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215.5225 to schedule a consultation.