The municipal identification card Chicago is creating to help bring undocumented immigrants “out of the shadows” will be called “CityKey” with free enrollment for the first 100,000 applicants, followed by a $10 fee.
The fee will be $5 for those 17 and under. Senior citizens 65 and older will get cards free. Fee waivers may also be available for low-income and homeless Chicagoans, veterans, victims of domestic violence and participants in the One Summer Chicago jobs program.
Veterans can opt for ID’s with an insignia beneath their photo. Cardholders will also have the option to include medical information, an emergency contact and declare their intention to donate organs, as motorists currently do on their driver’s licenses.
After spending $1 million and allocating another $1 million for 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had hoped to start issuing municipal identification cards by Dec. 31. The cards also would double as Ventra and library cards.
Instead, the “3-in-1” card will launch citywide in March after a first-quarter test to “ensure security and full integration of card features,” officials said. The city clerk’s office will also work with community organizations across the city to educate the public on the application process.
On Thursday, Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia held a City Hall news conference to unveil the name, cost and design of the ID and promote the program by printing the first cards.
The name “CityKey” was chosen to symbolize the underlying purpose of the card.
“Our goal is that every Chicagoans will want to get a CityKey to unlock all of the great things our city has to offer,” Valencia was quoted as saying in a press release.
Emanuel added, “If you live in Chicago, we want you to be part of Chicago. This ID breaks down barriers to city services and brings every resident into the fold, regardless of immigration status, gender identification [or] housing status.”
At a time when undocumented immigrants are living in fear of the mass deportations threatened during President Donald Trump’s campaign, Valencia has assured aldermen that personal information provided will not end up in the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
To protect confidentiality, the city will ask for “minimal information” and will not ask applicants about their immigration status. Nor will the city retain copies of applicants’ personal information.
The name and date of birth will be the only information retained by the city. No home address will be required.
Applicants also will be able to self-designate their gender, a nod to the LGBTQ community.
In New York City, 65 percent of those who signed up for municipal ID’s were lured by the promise of discounts and ancillary benefits.
That’s why Valencia has already announced that Chicago’s municipal ID can be used as a Ventra and library card.
“A lot of people told us, `Don’t make this a card that sits in your wallet. So, we put our…