Enjoying a comfortable 44-point lead in the mayor's race, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio confidently pledged Tuesday to push for municipal identification cards for undocumented New Yorkers in "early 2014."
"We'll do what we can do to establish the kinds of laws that actually respect everyone who lives in the city of New York," the public advocate said during a rally for comprehensive immigration reform at City Hall.
The ID would help undocumented residents get bank accounts and leases, he said. He said working on getting state-issued cards would also be a focus if elected.
De Blasio said he still needs to work out the details of the municipal IDs, but that he believes there's enough support in City Council to put through the legislation.
During the Republican primary, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota also expressed support for such IDs, saying they would help all New Yorkers, not just undocumented immigrants.
"Folks become bankable," Lhota said during a Sept. 8 debate. "So many people in New York don't have checking accounts."
Lhota also expressed frustration with the lack of progress made on immigration policy in at the national level.
"It's outrageous that we're a country of immigrants and we don't have immigration policy," he said.
Alluding to the recent dysfunction in Congress, de Blasio said immigration reform needs to happen on the state and city-levels.
"Wouldn't be glorious if we could depend on Washington D.C. to respond to the needs of the people?" he said.
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