Los Angeles Mayor Wants ID That Doubles as Prepaid Debit Card

PHOTO: A sample identification card that the City of Los Angeles will consider offering to residents, regardless of their immigration status.

City of LA/Sabate

Undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles could get identification cards and access to bank services under a proposal by the mayor.

The ID card, dubbed the City Service Card, would provide access to the library, other city services, and could optionally be activated as a rechargeable debit card. It would be similar to those offered by San Francisco and Oakland, where IDs are issued to any resident, regardless of immigration status, the mayor said according to the Los Angeles Times.

"It will be an official ID," Villaraigosa told the newspaper. "It will be as strong an effort as San Francisco's."

The card would allow economically marginalized residents "to become accountable and integrated in their communities," according to a flyer.

An estimated 450,000 Los Angeles residents do not have a bank account. The debit card feature would give users access to banking services such as direct deposit, electronic payment options, as well as international and domestic money transfers.

The card would cost between $10 and $20. The ATM option would include a monthly fee.

This latest proposal follows a string of actions local officials have taken to navigate local governance issues with the nation's immigration system. These actions have drawn criticism from conservative groups, who say city officials are making life easier for undocumented immigrants.

Earlier this month after the veto of the TRUST Act, Los Angeles Police Department limited how it will refer arrestees to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

In September, officials began considering a library ID card similar the current proposal by the mayor.

Earlier this year, the city police also softened its policy of impounding vehicles of undocumented immigrants for 30 days.

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