Leaders such as San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, New York City Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal, Rachel Louis from the Newark Mayor’s office, Emily Tucker from the Center for Popular Democracy, and Tomas Robles from Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) explained the significance, process and challenges of implementing Municipal ID programs. Below are the most emphasized best practices that they mentioned:
Municipal ID programs are important because all residents in our cities deserve equal access to basic services. Municipal IDs help prevent residents from being apprehensive about checking in at the security desk of a building, entering a hospital or reporting a crime. Municipal IDs can also help build the relationship between police and community members by preventing unnecessary arrests for those who were previously unable to show valid forms of identification.
In terms of challenges and opposition to the program, Supervisor Eric Mar explained that they were able to overcome a lawsuit delaying their Municipal ID program by partnering with community members and local advocates to gain sufficient momentum and support. Including endorsers and enticing benefits such as discounts and memberships help cast a wider audience for the program and markets it to non-immigrants as well. To protect against the possibility of applicants’ information falling into the hands of law enforcement agencies or private third parties, many cities have prohibited the retention of application documents altogether, or have established safeguards to limit access to documents that are retained.
Click to review: The Promise of Municipal ID Programs Webinar Powerpoint