Immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona have reason to celebrate the holidays early.
Last Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council voted 5-4 in order to advance a proposal that seeks more information on the creation of municipal ID cards for undocumented residents. Specifically, the measure invites the private sector to propose ideas on how to create and execute such an ID.
This latest victory is only a small step forward for Phoenix residents, immigrants, and their allies – as AZCentral.com reports that there is still a long road ahead for the municipal ID program to come to fruition:
Wednesday’s vote was not a final endorsement of the municipal ID concept. City officials said they will explore several options in terms of the card’s purpose and function. A final council vote is expected next spring.
The city could decide to create: an alternative form of photo ID; a single city services card that allows residents to access public libraries, recreation and community centers, senior centers and golf courses; or some hybrid of an ID and service card.
Still, advocates are determined to keep working to ensure that the municipal program is implemented.
America’s Voice has highlighted the benefit of municipal ID’s in the past. Such programs are already in effect in some cities across the United States, and allow beneficiaries to have access to a wide variety of local services. Not to mention that municipal IDs provide immigrant with an valid form of ID when coming in contact with local law enforcement.
As stated by Viri Hernandez, an activist working with the ONE PHX ID campaign, the municipal IDs could be “life changing” for Phoenix residents:
"It's a piece of plastic that may not mean much, but for some people it can be life changing." #OnePhxID pic.twitter.com/YxB0LjOHc8
— AzCNL (@AzCNL) December 17, 2015