Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to study a proposal that would allow city libraries to issue IDs to illegal alien residents. (LA Times, Sept. 11, 2012) The City Council unanimously approved the study, which could potentially benefit over 300,000 illegal aliens (Id.)
Supporters say the measure is needed to enable illegal aliens to open bank accounts and obtain other city services. (Id.) However, under the Patriot Act, banks are already permitted to open bank accounts for illegal aliens with as little documentation as a matricula consular card. (P.L. 107-56 § 326, Oct. 26, 2001) Nevertheless, proponents argue that some illegal aliens are nervous about using a matricula consular card and therefore should be allowed to receive a library ID card under this proposal, one that only requires establishing residency in the city. The city would then partner with private vendors to set up bank accounts for aliens who want to use the library ID as a debit card. (LA Times, Sept. 11, 2012)
If Los Angeles were to adopt the library ID proposal, it would follow in the footsteps of other cities, such as San Francisco and New Haven, that issue city IDs to illegal aliens. (See, e.g., FAIR Legislative Update, July 11, 2011) The ordinances in each city vary somewhat, but have all been used to accommodate the continued residence of illegal aliens in those cities.