Miami-Dade County, Florida commissioners have given the go-ahead for a nonprofit to issue IDs to immigrants who are illegally in the country and those who don’t have IDs of identity.
The plan proposed by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava passed by a 7-2 vote on Tuesday. Proponents note that immigrants often struggle to access their children’s schools or coronavirus tests and vaccines. They say the IDs will also allow them to use library resources, local recreation facilities and storm shelters, and provide them with the identification needed to return home after evacuating during hurricanes. or fires.
When she was commissioner in Miami-Dade, Levine Cava unsuccessfully proposed community identifiers modeled after other municipalities in North Carolina and Virginia. In Florida, Broward and Palm Beach counties already accept community IDs.
The two commissioners voting against ID cards expressed concern that they could lead to fraudulent activity.
Commissioner Rene Garcia said that when he was a Republican state senator, he introduced a bill allowing driver’s licenses for immigrants who are illegally in the country and have not been adopted. With this plan, he said he was worried about allowing a non-profit organization to run it.
“We pass that on to a third-party provider,” he said. “If we think this isn’t going to lead to fraud, that this isn’t going to lead to opening the door to other activities in this community…we’re all wrong.”
Commissioner Jean Monestime said he was grateful to have been allowed to enroll in school and obtain a student card upon his arrival from Haiti.
“I came here as an undocumented American and when I signed up for school someone realized it was genuine,” Monestime said. “I had no one to identify me.”