Youth reporter Yazmin Nunez speaks to Mayor Eric Garcetti about his support for providing identification for undocumented residents.
Boyle Heights Beat: Outgoing Mayor Villaraigosa introduced a plan to issue photo identification cards for undocumented residents that can be used in bank services. Is this something you would want to implement?
Garcetti: Yes, I voted for it on the City Council. I actually wrote the legislation before this that recognized “matricula” cards, so matricula consulares,, which are given to folks who don’t necessarily have citizenship, but live here and need a form of identification. So the Mexican or the Korean or the Salvadoran consulate can put them out, and we accept them as a city in libraries or if you are a witness to a crime and want to do a crime report. So that was the first step, and the second step is these cards, and yes, absolutely, I think it’s really smart.
Oakland is doing it right now. And the city can help reduce the costs for undocumented residents in terms of banking. I mean right now it costs a lot to use a lot of these places that kind of prey on undocumented residents and charge high rates to cash checks to transfer money, and the city can actually find a partner and might be able to get some the revenue that goes elsewhere. It’s a good thing for the city’s budget, as well as the right thing for residents.