Bridgeport’s plans to issue identity cards to residents is being delayed as concerns regarding whether these cards could be used by noncitizens for voting or opening bank accounts.
According to a Connecticut Post report, the city’s identity cards could be obtained by both illegal immigrants — the nonprofit Make the Road CT estimates that 20,000 undocumented residents live in Bridgeport — as well as citizens without proper forms of identification, including the homeless. Similar identification cards have been issued to Hartford and New Haven residents, and the state issuing special driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in December 2014.
Av Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Joe Ganim and a senior adviser for public policy, stated the city is still committed to issuing these cards, but there will be a delay to include new text that will prevent them from being used as identification for voter registration. Harris added that the Ganim administration is trying to encourage banks to accept the new cards as legal identification for opening accounts.
“We’re ready to roll these out very soon,” Harris said, adding that Donald Trump’s election on a platform promising the deportation of illegal immigration is not impacting the decision to issue these new cards. “We have to be concerned with acting in the best interests of our community, and undocumented immigrants are definitely part of the fabric of the Bridgeport community. Conflict between municipal, state and federal governments is nothing new in America.”