We’ve already learned that Mayor Bill de Blasio is a man of his word, but in this case, it’s actually, you know, important. Today, City Council is expected to pass a BDB-backed bill that will provide undocumented New Yorkers and illegal immigrants with ID cards, allowing them to receive government aid and in some cases, self-identify as their preferred gender.
The cards aren’t just for immigrants, either—they’re available to everyone, even incentivized through museum and restaurant discounts so as not to act as a “scarlet letter” for people without documentation. So if you’re one of those New Yorkers who never bothered to get (or wanted to get) a driver’s license, or one whose gender doesn’t fit within the traditional binary, you’ll only have to cough up the roughly ten dollars that the cards will cost, though fees will be waived for those in need.
Beginning in six months, the city will start releasing the cards and allow anyone with a domestic or foreign birth certificate, foreign ID, EBT card or similar documentation to provide freedoms as simple as checking out books at the library and as necessary as opening a bank account. It’s a huge moment for New York City, especially as other cities like Boston and Chicago are toying with similar legislation. While some of us may be weeping for the re-emergence of Big Gulps, we can all be proud of this. (AND TEAM USA!! WHOO!)
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa