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Know Your Rights
Source: Times Ledger
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Majority of municipal ID applications come from Queens

Queens residents have submitted the largest number of municipal ID applications out of the five boroughs, the city announced last week.

Out of 101,063 processed applications from the five boroughs during period from Jan. 1 to March 30, the city has received 34,616 applications from Queens, according to the first quarterly IDNYC report prepared by the city Human Resources Administration, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Operations.

The second highest was Brooklyn, with 30,805 applications, and the lowest was Staten Island, with 3,513. The city received 14,976 applications from Manhattan and 17,153 applications from the Bronx.

Javier Valdes, co-director of Make the Road New York, whose organization advocated for the municipal ID, said the number of applications indicates the policy is working and is needed.

“It showed how many people wanted to have access to the benefits and it demonstrated that it was a good policy because it really is addressing a need for so many people,” Valdes said.

The 100,000th New Yorker applied for an IDNYC card March 30, the 77th day since the card was launched, exceeding 1 percent of the city’s population, at about 84,000.

“That’s thousands of New Yorkers that can now easily enter municipal buildings, take advantage of cultural and prescription benefits, and interact productively with the NYPD,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We will continue to grow the program to create even greater access to government programs for our city’s residents.”

Jamaica resident Angelica Garcia, 39, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, signed up for municipal ID last weekend.

She said the municipal ID is more convenient compared to the passport, which can be lost more easily.

“You need ID for going to the library, going to museums, to go to the bank,” Garcia said. “For anything, you need ID.”

Despite experiencing a slowdown for a few hours on its first day taking appointments, an IDNYC website hosted by AppointmentPlus has been running smoothly ever since then and without any hiccups, a city official previously told TimesLedger.

The city uses duplicate image software to ensure no applicant is able to get two IDNYC cards, according to an administration official. The enrollment system will feature ID verification scanning technology and high-tech cameras.

International Civil Aviation Organization best practices suggest that the face be captured with a neutral, non-smiling expression, with both eyes open, the official said. Expression has a strong effect on the performance of automatic face recognition and accurate visual inspection by humans.

Nearly two dozen experienced city Human Resources Administration investigators have been hired as integrity specialists to prevent fraud and check applicants’ identities. New IDNYC centers have opened up in Corona, Long Island City, Lower Manhattan and West Harlem.

By mid-April, new sites will launch in the South Bronx and Coney Island and a new, larger Sunset Park center will replace the temporary site that had opened in January.

In May, the program will launch the second round of popup enrollment centers in partnership with community-based organizations, City Council offices and city agencies.

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