Middletown Passes Legislation For Municipal ID

MIDDLETOWN – As Federal immigration policy takes center-stage at the mid-term elections, the role of municipalities in relationship to immigration isn’t always clear.
On Monday, the City of Middletown Common Council unanimously passed legislation to create a municipal ID.

The vote follows months of advocacy for the legislation by Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, a member-led immigrant rights and social justice organization based in Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties.

The IDs will be available to all City residents and will be particularly valuable for the City’s most vulnerable community members: undocumented immigrants, as well as the homeless, transgender people, youth, the elderly, the formerly incarcerated, and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID.

The municipal ID will help those who currently lack government-issued ID interact with the police, pick their children up from school, fill prescriptions, see a doctor, open bank accounts, and use the library.

All residents (including those who already have government-issued ID) will be encouraged to get a Middletown ID to foster a more united community. The City and Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson will work to tie the card to discounts at businesses and other public and private venues in order to help popularize the IDs.

Middletown is the third municipality in the state with an ID program, after New York City and Poughkeepsie, and one of over 20 nationwide.

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, who mobilized over 200 Middletown residents for the vote, also successfully advocated for the Poughkeepsie municipal ID, which passed in a unanimous, bi-partisan vote in July. Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson also expects to pass a municipal ID in Kingston in December.

The Middletown municipal ID is set to be available starting February 1st, according to the legislation.

“My child was sick in second grade and his school called me to pick him up, so I left work to get him, but when I got there the school wouldn’t let me take him because I didn’t have ID. Having an ID will make me feel safe and open doors for me and my family,” said Viviana, an undocumented Middletown resident and member of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

“The ID will make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of our Middletown members and their children. It will also make Middletown a stronger, more united community, and benefit all residents. And now we’re looking forward to passing a municipal ID in Kingston next,” said Ignacio Acevedo, Lead Organizer of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

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