Interesting how the illegal alien population is estimated at 10-15,000, but "only" 6,400 have applied for ID cards. Don't they want to come out of the shadows?
Last July, hundreds of city residents lined up inside New Haven City Hall to apply for the Elm City Resident ID card.We can look forward to a replay of this line-up in August when San Francisco begins issuing its owm city ID cards. And the city's generosity will cost the citizens plenty: S.F. to issue ID cards to illegal immigrants.
For many like Marvin Guevara, they came to get the only photo ID available to them.
"Finally just to identify that I'm a resident of New Haven." It also gives them access to city services, recreational facilities, and can be used to open up accounts at four area banks.
Guevara is one of an estimated 10-15,000 illegal immigrants living in the city. Many are from Mexico, Guatamala, and Ecuador. City officials said they hoped the ID program would help bring these residents out of the shadows.
"Actually, you feel it in the community. You do. When you go out there, there's a difference. People are, you know, they're out there,they're more visible." [New Haven Issues 6,400 ID Cards in First Year | Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, [MP3] July 17, 2008]
The cards - complete with cardholders' addresses and photos - would cost $15 for adults and $5 for youths. Discounts will be offered to those considered low-income.
Ammiano estimates the program will cost San Francisco about $500,000, most of that expected during the program's first year. But some officials predict it could cost as much as $3 million.