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Advocates: New York City Municipal ID Card Would Benefit Many

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Advocates for immigrants said Wednesday that a proposed New York City municipal ID card will help ensure that all New Yorkers can obtain crucial city services.

Backers of the proposed ID card said Wednesday that non-drivers, transgender people and others also will benefit from the city-issued ID card.

Wednesday's hearing before the immigration committee of the City Council was the first step in the city's drive to introduce the card.

All city residents will be eligible for the cards. But they will be targeted to those who cannot easily get photo ID cards because they are not legal U.S. residents.

"This legislation says to them that they are not invisible and that they are not alone," City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told reporters, including WCBS 880's Marla Diamond, earlier this month.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is a strong supporter.

"Having an official form of identification will bring dignity and peace of mind to many fellow residents currently living in the shadows," he said earlier this month.

Other supporters of the city ID card say immigrant New Yorkers without government-issued ID cards often have difficulty picking their children up at school or using health services.

Backers say the card will help transgender people because it will let them use the gender they prefer, even if they have not had reassignment surgery.

But opponents of the bill say the city has no business issuing IDs and are concerned the cards could be used for people looking to change their identities.

To get the card, New Yorkers would have to provide proof of residency and identity.

Other cities, including San Francisco and New Haven, Conn., have created similar cards.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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