Newly-arrived migrants seek IDNYC cards

Migrants who recently arrived in New York City from the nation's border are now seeking to obtain an IDNYC card.

"I want to get an ID because with one I can open a bank account," said Emanuel Jesus Comenales Vargas, who arrived from Venezuela two months ago.

The city has been issuing identification cards since 2015. All New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status, are allowed to obtain one.

Natalia Martinez arrived from Venezuela 20 days ago and applied for an IDNYC card about two weeks ago. On Wednesday afternoon she visited the Bronx Library Center with her children so they can get one too. 

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"We need the ID to open a bank account, they ask you for an ID for health insurance, I mean you need one for everything," Martinez said.

The ID allows people to apply for city services. It also works as proof of identification for employment, when given with proof of work authorization, and it also allows you to enter buildings such as schools.

Dozens of asylum seekers have been coming to the Bronx Library Center in recent weeks to fill out applications. The staff at the library has been helping migrants navigate the process, but it hasn't been easy with the number of people showing up daily. Some are asked to come back at a later time because they can't keep up with the demand.

FOX 5 NY reached out to the city's Department of Social Services, which said that although it does not track IDNYC applications and enrollments by immigration status, new enrollments during the first half of this year have already surpassed nearly 85% of new enrollments through the entirety of last year.

In a statement, the agency's spokesperson said: "The city is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the unprecedented increase in migrants seeking services in New York City. And the Department of Social Services is working closely with our agency partners to identify ways to support this community every which way we can. These efforts include working to find ways to secure documentation for these families and individuals, so they can access city programs such as IDNYC and have some form of identification. We remain squarely focused on continuing to assist any vulnerable communities regardless of immigration status seeking to access the IDNYC program."

There are a number of sites across the city that can help with the application process. At the Bronx Library Center, they do accept walk-ins, but because so many people are showing up every day they do encourage you to make an appointment. You can make one by calling 311.

To see the applicant guide document, visit this link.