As many cities across the United States are beginning to implement municipal ID cards, Detroit as another to jump on the band wagon. Beginning this fall, the new Detroit Municipal ID cards will be available to the homeless, criminal convicts, undocumented individuals and others who have a hard time obtaining traditional forms for identification. (freep.com)
With a unanimous vote, The Detroit City Council approved an ordinance that will set the framework for the issuance and acceptance of municipal ID cards.
Unlike state-issued cards, the new municipal ID cards will not require a Social Security Number and the usual documentation for the verification of legal status.
Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-López, said that the ID cards will serve to help immigrants and others to open a bank account, gain access to museums and other services. She went on to say, “It really is a key step for us as a city, as I keep saying, as we grow as a diverse, inclusive global city and to highlight that we are welcoming to all old and newcomers to the city of Detroit. It really is to make sure we’re in alignment with recognizing people’s basic rights like human dignity.”
Alex Wiley, Mayor Mike Duggan’s chief of staff, said that applicants will be able to start the process at the Patton Recreation Center in Detroit. There will be a second location but that has yet to be determined. He went on to say that the municipal ID cards will help to grow the city which has made this project as a priority for Mayor Duggan.
“This is something that will make Detroit so much more accessible for so many people who are living here right now who call Detroit home, but don’t have the same benefits that we have,” said Wiley. “For Detroit to grow in population and for Detroit to become a stronger city, everybody has to be included in that.”
In order to obtain one of these municipal ID cards, applicants will be required to cross a 300 point threshold. This is basically a point system that assigns certain values to individual documents. For example, a valid U.S. passport will be worth 200 points. Baptismal or bank records are among a category of documents that are worth only 50 points. Aside from the 300 point mark that applicants will have to hit, they will need to provide a lease agreement, utility bill or other document to show proof of residency. This documentation must be dated within 30 days of the application.
The ID cards will include a name, photo, address, signature, age and date of birth and will cost a grand total of $25. Minors over 14 years old and seniors over 62 years old will only be charged $10 for their ID cards.
Cofounder of One Michigan, Jose Franco, said that the municipal ID cards will beneficially serve the Latino Community. “It’s a great victory for our community, specifically in southwest Detroit where there’s a lot of undocumented members that don’t have any ID at all,” said Franco. “Now they have some sense of feeling part of the city, as before, they didn’t feel as a part of the city.”