(CNSNews.com) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said on Monday that giving identification cards to illegal aliens allows them to feel like citizens and enjoy some of the same benefits as actual citizens.
"We don't want any of our fellow New Yorkers to feel like second-class citizens,” de Blasio was quoted as saying in a National Public Radio website article. “We don't want them to feel left out.”
In addition, de Blasio is promising more than just ID cards if illegal aliens come forward and sign up.
"A free, one-year membership to 33 cultural institutions,” de Blasio said. “That did get the attention of many New Yorkers.”
But some liberal, pro-amnesty advocates are leery about the cards. Johanna Miller of the New York Civil Liberties Union is one of them.
"The success of this program depends almost entirely on having a diverse pool of cardholders,” Miller told NPR. “If the card becomes a scarlet letter for undocumented people, then it fails.”
In his first State of the City address, de Blasio said New York would become the largest city to offer identification cards to illegal aliens, making it easier for them to open bank accounts, lease apartments or borrow library books, The New York Times reported in February 2014.
The Times said that de Blasio got the biggest applause during his speech when he mentioned his plan for ID cards for illegal aliens.
“To all of my fellow New Yorkers who are undocumented, I say: New York City is your home, too,” de Blasio said. “And we will not force any of our residents to live their lives in the shadows.”