Union City to launch municipal ID program against President Trump's immigration crackdown
Union City officials say they will defy President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown by announcing a municipal ID program for residents.
The program is similar to those in places like New York City and Newark. Any city resident 14 or older who is otherwise not eligible for a driver's license will be able to sign up for the free card.
It does not replace a driver's license, but could possibly be used to apply for bank accounts, financial assistance and even a library card.
The last census says there are 69,000 Union City residents who are in the country illegally, but officials believe the number is much higher than that.
"Union City foremost was a sanctuary city before it was trending," says Alejandro Velazquez, the mayor's chief of staff. "The mayor is an advocate for all people, especially undocumented."
Officials in the city say they are moving ahead with the program despite the potential consequences from President Trump and his crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
"We all work together with that community model in mind and I think that's what makes it such a great place to live and work," says Union City Deputy City Clerk Erin Knoedler.
City officials say the mayor's office has been taking constant phone calls from scared residents. Children are apparently calling saying that they are afraid they will come home from school and their parents will have been deported.
The ID card program begins Wednesday. To assist with applicants, the clerk's office will open at special hours between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday specifically for the program.