The Newburgh city council unanimously approved fees for municipal Identification cards and a resolution in support of the New York State “Protect our Courts” legislation. The municipal id program will roll out in the coming months, Mayor Torrance Harvey is hoping to get the system in place by the first week in July.
The cards will be given to any city of Newburgh resident with proof of residency and proof of identity, which can be a foreign issued document. Members of the organization Nobody Leaves Mid Hudson asked the counsel for updates after residents were offered municipal ids from people pretending to be city officials.
Corporate Counsel, Michelle Kelson was quick to inform the council that the equipment to make the cards is no ready or installed. Residents will be notified when the city is ready to distribute cards.
“The City of Newburgh is not ready to issue is today please do not give your money away to anyone outside city hall. if they approach you on the street they are not from the city hall. The only place you can obtain those ids is here in city hall. Please tell residents to be patient and hold on to your money,” said Kelson.
They will cost $15 for adults 18 and over, $7 for anyone under 18, over 62, a veteran, or disabled person. There is an opportunity for the city clerk to waive a fee if residents are incapable of paying. There is also a $5 replacement free.
The municipal id cards are just the beginning in an effort to give undocumented immigrants access to drivers licenses in New York State. The Newburgh city council passed unanimously on Monday night the “Protect our Courts” resolution. The resolution supports legislation in New York State to protect undocumented immigrants from getting arrested by immigration officers inside a courthouse or when en route to a courthouse.
Councilwoman Karen Mejia talked about how even in a welcoming city like Newburgh residents are still vulnerable to ICE officials.
“This goes beyond the walls of the court, on Tuesday ICE agents were in the City of Newburgh, they picked up a City of Newburgh resident on Dupont so the harassment and chase are occurring even outside of city walls,” said Mejia. “I think individuals and the community need to know what the rights are and they need to know what the interactions with ICE are.”