EL PASO, TX – Following in the footsteps of other cities with large immigrant populations, El Paso advocacy organizations are pushing city officials to consider issuing municipal IDs to residents who lack documents. “No one wants to have the feeling of being without identification,” said Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso, raising her right arm and waving her Texas driver’s license. “Or the feeling of not being able to say ‘this is me, this is who I am.’”
Supporters of the pro-ID movement say that the city-issued IDs would help between 40,000 to 50,000 local residents who lack legal documents such as driver’s licenses or birth certificates. Immigrant advocates said the Municipal ID Program will help local law enforcement and emergency services personnel quickly respond and identify people who lack legal identification. The program is designed to help those who face challenges when trying to obtain identifiable documents such as the homeless, transgender individuals.