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Los Angeles Approves Identification Card for All Residents

November 12, 2012
Plain English Version

An example of an identification card issued by San Francisco.

The Los Angeles City Council said the city would issue photo identification cards to its residents. The card would be available to any resident of the city regardless of their immigrant documentation status.

Cardholders can use the cards to open bank accounts, borrow books from the library and pay utility bills. A councilman said as many as 400,000 residents may be able to get cards.

A councilman said, “It will help people use a system that is there for them to use and hopefully not abuse.”

The ID card has been controversial. Because an undocumented resident can get one, opponents say the cards are an accommodation of lawbreakers.

Advocates were pleased by the council’s action. One said, “Many parents have difficulty picking up their children from school because they do not have IDs.”

The cards would also carry a separate debit card feature. The California cities of Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco already have similar cards.

The Los Angeles Times

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