Official identification cards offered to New York City residents — including illegal immigrants — were handed out to more 730,000 people in 2015, reports say.
The year-end analysis makes IDNYC the most successful of other programs launched around the country, including Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, and New Haven, Conn., the International Business Times
The program was a campaign promise of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
— and had come under attack from the Foundation for American Immigration Reform, which contends such cards "aid and abet illegal immigration" as well as possibly terrorism.
The cards, which look similar to a driver's license, are available to anyone over age 14 who can prove residency in the city. An applicant's immigration status won't be asked. It's been estimated the city is home to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants.
The card's popularity was also driven, at least in part, by the number of perks offered, IBTimes reports: it's accepted as valid primary identification at some city banks and credit unions, city government buildings, schools and hospitals that require photo ID, and by the city police.
The IDs will continue to be offered free this year.
According to the Daily News
, a total of 732,630 people applied for the cards in 2015, with the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn leading with the most applications, 231,121 applications and 215,623, respectively.
There were 136,555 applications from Manhattan, 131,242 from the Bronx, and 18,067 from Staten Island.
The newspaper reports 7,130 applications were denied because the city couldn't "confidently" verify the cardholders' ID.
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