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El Paso Rejected Municipal ID’s, And Houston?

El Paso won’t provide municipal ID cards to its residents. The reason? Fears over being labeled a sanctuary city.


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A municipal ID is like a driver licence, but instead of being state specific it identifies a person by the city they live in.

Jeronimo Cortina is a political science professor at the University of Houston.

He spoke on Houston Matters.

"The main purpose is to allow citizens to identify themselves, and allow them for example to have access to city services, and also facilitate their interaction with local law enforcement," he says.

So where does Houston stand on the topic?

Last year, Mayor Sylvester Turner told us that it was being researched and funding ideas were being discussed.

"It may be something that we can work through some non-profit and that the city can partner with them," Turner says.

But a year later, the city says they are still reviewing the program.

The mayor of El Paso says he rejected municipal ID's because it could result in the city being seen as a sanctuary city.

Cortina says there is a misconception attached to providing local identification.

"When we refer to undocumented migrants that implies some sort of legalizing their status," he says.

Currently, there are no major cities in Texas that provide municipal ID's.

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