Minneapolis mulls ID card


The Minneapolis City Council is moving closer to issuing municipal identification cards, available to anyone in Minneapolis above the age of 14 regardless of their immigration status.

Cities across the country have begun issuing IDs to help undocumented immigrants in an era of stepped-up deportations by federal authorities. Advocates for greater immigration enforcement criticize the ID programs as encouraging people to break the law.

In Minneapolis, backers of municipal ID in Minneapolis say it’s not about immigration alone.

“This municipal ID is being designed in a way that meets a lot of constituency needs, not just the immigrant community needs” said Alondra Cano, a City Council member and the chief sponsor of the municipal ID ordinance. “We are talking about homeless people, young people, elderly people, the GLBTQ community.”

City officials said the municipal identification ordinance is in early stages of development and would be presented to the City Council before the end of the year. The local ID card would be issued to anyone in Minneapolis above the age of 14, regardless of gender identity, homelessness or immigration status.

The city has created an internal working group led by Mariano Espinoza, an immigration activist and Latino community specialist in the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations department.

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