NEW YORK, NY – On Monday, July 9, the Poughkeepsie Common Council unanimously voted to establish a municipal ID program. The program will allow all Poughkeepsie residents to access services, programs, and benefits, regardless of immigration status.
To apply for a municipal ID, applicants will need to prove residence and identity using a combination of several other forms of ID such as a work permit, diploma, property/utility bills, and others.
Poughkeepsie is the second city in New York State to establish a municipal ID program for all residents, thanks to efforts from the New York Immigration Coalition local member organization, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. Other Hudson Valley cities – Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown and Beacon – are also considering municipal IDs programs.
In response, Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said:
“Immigrant New Yorkers make immense contributions to the social and economic fabric of our New York, and a municipal ID program will lessen the daily fears they encounter while doing so. Municipal IDs allow all Poughkeepsie residents to open bank accounts, access transportation or parking services, and have safer interactions with law enforcement. We commend the city of Poughkeepsie for taking this critical step in the right direction with the help of local immigration advocates.”
Jonathan Bix, Executive Director of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, said: “Immigrants are under attack, and municipal IDs are one of the most effective measures cities can implement to protect and empower undocumented people in these times. Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson has received enthusiastic responses from the mayors and councilmembers of Kingston, Middletown, Newburgh, and Beacon about creating their own municipal IDs, and we look forward to passing municipal ID legislation in these and more cities in the Hudson Valley. We still need to expand driver’s license access to undocumented New Yorkers, and we need to abolish ICE. But a municipal ID program is a critical protection we can win locally.”