Fridsay, October 19, 2018

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Business alliance of Kingston briefed on municipal ID movement

KINGSTON – Following the growing movement of municipal IDs, a program in the early stages of adoption by local municipalities focused on undocumented residents, representatives from immigrant rights organizations came to Kingston to inform the local business community about the benefits of municipal ID programs, as well as the benefits of the Greenlight Campaign, a statewide movement that would afford undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain an official New York driver’s license.

Representatives from Nobody Leaves MidHudson and the Worker Justice Center of New York, Thursday, addressed the Business Alliance of Kingston, explaining to members that although these initiatives are focused on the undocumented community, they rely on the participation of the entire community for them to work.

Municipal IDs, which are also under consideration in the cities of Middletown and Poughkeepsie, are expected to provide a number of benefits.

In addition to allowing for easier interaction with law enforcement, they could also be used by participating financial institutions to open bank accounts, identify individuals picking their children up from school, obtaining library cards and provide an overall sense of being accepted by the community.

In terms of the Greenlight Campaign, the statewide effort would lower the point system in place for obtaining a driver’s license not just for undocumented immigrants, but all state residents.

The Greenlight Campaign, if adopted into law is projected to generate $57 million in annual revenue for the state, but Senior Organizing and Advocacy Coordinator for the Worker Justice Center of New York Emma Kreyche said the benefits would not end there.

“It would reduce insurance rates, reduce the number of uninsured drivers, it would ensure that all immigrant drivers are able to go through a road test, learn the rules of the road, so we feel that it is beneficial both for immigrant community members, as well as for the broader public,” said Kreyche.

Kingston and Ulster Coordinator for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, Diana Lopez, said the focus, at this point, is to get the immigrant community to participate in these endeavors in their own municipalities.

“We’re trying to go city by city and see what the needs are and bring the legislation there,” said Lopez. “We are trying to work and get our Latino community out, for them not to be afraid to come out and ask for what is needed, and what is wanted.”

As of Wednesday evening’s Kingston Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee meeting, the municipal ID program has been set for vote before the common council in December. 

 


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