Illegal immigrants living in the most populous city in the United States will soon be able to obtain identification cards needed to access government services and other benefits. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the criteria for the municipal ID card Friday while reassuring the public that the program would protect against identification fraud.
To prevent fraud, applicants must present proof of identity, including foreign passports and birth certificates, and New York City residency. The cards will be printed on polycarbonate card stock and will include an embedded hologram, the applicant's signature and a secondary, black and white "ghost" photo of the applicant.
Government officials hope they will soon be able to keep better track of who lives in New York City under the ID program. Roughly half of all New York City residents over the age of 16 don't have state driver's licenses.
New York City is home to more than 500,000 immigrants without legal status.