LOS ANGELES (AP) – Immigrants would get access to banking services in Los Angeles under a proposal that would create an official city photo identification card that could also be used as a prepaid ATM card.
The Los Angeles Times reports Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says his plan is similar to programs in San Francisco and Oakland, where ID cards are issued to anyone who can prove residency, regardless of immigration status. An estimated 4.3 million immigrants live in LA.
Supporters say helping immigrants open bank accounts could reduce crime because fewer people would have to carry cash. Critics say the plan is an accommodation to immigrants who are in the country illegally. The Times says a City Council committee will discuss the ID card proposal on Tuesday.