12 to 1 was the outcome of the Los Angeles city council vote in favor of municipal id cards. We wrote about the idea couple of times as it was gaining momentum. While handful of other towns already implemented the idea LA is by far the biggest city to start issuing id cards regardless of immigration status.
Document is meant for residents who are unable obtain state of California identification documents. Those include transgender, foster youth, homeless but most definitely the biggest group waiting for the move was the undocumented immigrants community. Also the main lobbying came from mostly Latino organizations.
Many critics would say that the town supports illegal immigration by accommodating identification documents for aliens but city also benefits from that move. It’s been estimated that over 10% of LA adult population has no bank account. Certainly not all of these people are poor and therefore many members of minorities carry much higher than average amount of cash. As those people are targeted by gangs and thieves crime rate grows dangerously. Moreover undocumented immigrants are reluctant to cooperate with the authorities reducing solved criminal case rate.
There are other factors also addressed by the id card, such cashing check places charging hefty rates for the unbanked and kids being picked from schools by people who can’t prove their identity.
The card is expected to launch in 2013, should cost no more than $20 and double as preloaded debit card. No application details have been revealed yet and it matters how the identity of the person would established upon id card issuance.