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IDNYC Card Offers Help to Asylum-Seekers in NYC

IDNYC card

Getting an IDNYC Card

Many asylum-seekers have recently arrived in New York City and need help with identification so that they can find employment. Agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol often seize the identity documents of new arrivals at the border, leaving some people without passports or national identity documents. However, for those who arrive in the city, one option is to apply for an IDNYC card to use for identification purposes. A New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates can help people understand what they need to get an IDNYC card and represent them in their immigration cases.

What Is an IDNYC Card?

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio started the IDNYC program in 2015. This program allows anyone in New York to get an identification card no matter their immigration status. The city’s ID program provides a way for asylum-seekers and others to obtain identification so that they can easily get around without having to show their immigration papers. The card can be used to access city services, housing resources, and employment when presented with valid work authorization documents. The IDNYC program has been helpful to many new immigrants who lack other identity documents.

The influx of Asylum-Seekers From Texas

Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending migrants by bus to Washington, D.C., and New York City to politicize immigration. Asylum-seekers have been caught in the political struggle between Gov. Abbott and the mayors of both cities, including Mayor Eric Adams of New York and Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. While what Gov. Abbott has been doing has been described as an inhumane political stunt, the people arriving on buses to New York are human and deserve to be treated as such instead of being used as pawns.

Mayor Adams has stated that asylum-seekers who enter the city are welcome. However, he has also pointed out that the city’s shelter system is strained. New York City mandates that all people who need beds can receive them, making it difficult to house both newly arrived asylum-seekers and the city’s already burgeoning homeless population.

Many of the asylum-seekers sent by Gov. Abbott have arrived with no direction and no food during their 44-hour journeys by bus. The IDNYC program offers help to newly arrived asylum-seekers so that they can connect with housing resources, city programs, and employment. The IDNYC program allows undocumented New Yorkers to provide proof of identity when entering schools and to open bank accounts.

During the first six months of 2022, the number of people signing up for the IDNYC program equaled 85% of all of the people who enrolled in 2021. More than 1.4 million people in New York have obtained identification cards through the program. The cards are issued by the Department of Social Services, which issues them based on a points system. Holding a foreign passport provides three points and a consular ID counts as two points. However, since these documents are often confiscated by Customs and Border Patrol, asylum-seekers can also use other forms of identification to get the IDNYC card. Some of the documents that can be used include the I-94 form and a letter written by a homeless shelter in the city where the asylum-seeker is staying.

Talk to an Immigration Attorney at Oltarsh & Associates

Newly arrived asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants can benefit from the IDNYC program. They might also want to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates about their legal options for immigration. Our attorneys have years of experience helping people receive asylum and other forms of legal immigration statuses. Call us today for a consultation at (212) 944-9420.

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