NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh has joined the ranks of local municipalities including Middletown, Poughkeepsie and Kingston to adopt legislation to offer municipal IDs to undocumented, as well as all other residents.
The city council unanimously passed a resolution to adopt Local Law #2 of 2019, Monday evening, before a packed house of supporters at the city recreation center.
The ID program, much like ones adopted by the other local municipalities, allows cardholders to open bank accounts in some cases and makes interaction with law enforcement, as well as first responders, easier and much less daunting, especially for those undocumented residents who may have fear of deportation.
Nobody Leaves MidHudson, a local advocacy group, has been highly involved in the push for the municipal ID legislation all over the region. Lead Organizer Ignacio Acevedo said Monday’s vote is a huge win, but there’s more to be done. He also said it is more evidence that local governments and communities are setting a precedent that every resident is a valued member of the community.
“The reality is it’s the beginning and we’re passing this project, but the big win here is the community coming together; neighbor to neighbor supporting each other, saying good things about each other, leaving some of that fear behind and saying, ‘My neighbor has my back and I got my neighbor’,” said Acevedo. “For me, this is a big win.”
Mayor Torrance Harvey, along with the rest of the council, shared Acevedo’s sentiment of it being a huge win. Harvey said the only thing left to do, is start building the infrastructure to make the IDs available to qualified residents.
“We’ve already voted, now we’ve just got to through the protocols and getting the machines, and the man and woman power, to facilitate issuing them out,” said Harvey.
Harvey believes the IDs will be available within the next two to three months.