CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to issue Chicago municipal ID cards was the target of close questioning at Tuesday’s city budget hearing.
Emanuel has made it clear that he is moving toward creating a municipal ID that is available to undocumented residents.
City clerk Anna Valencia is asking for another million dollars to establish the ID program, which would provide cards not only for undocumented immigrants, but also for others who can’t get officials IDs.
However, Ald. David Moore, and others like him, question whether the program is necessary, given that there is a state ID card already available.
“I have an 11 percent Latino population, close to a one percent Arab population, and I have some Africans in my community. No one was knocking down my door saying this was an issue.”
Valencia says people at community meetings don’t agree with Moore’s notion, adding that there is a need for such a program. “Stories of not being able to get access to city services. I met a young teen mom who went to WIC to get milk for a baby, who didn’t have the right identification.”
Several aldermen back the ID plan, which is atop the mayor’s battle with the Trump Administration over illegal immigration.
A city ID, the mayor says, reflects the Chicago’s history of support for immigrants.
“It stands not only to the values of the city, but also the opportunities of the City of Chicago,” Emanuel has said.
Some have said the move could further irritate the Trump Administration, which has previously threatened to cancel federal aid to cities like Chicago that provide sanctuary for the undocumented.
But Mayor Emanuel has indicated that he believe that threat may not stand up. “I think we are on strong legal ground as it related to our ordinance and our ability to continue to receive funding in the law enforcement area.”
The mayor pointed out ex-offenders and the homeless would also benefit from being able to get a city ID.