Bill De Blasio, New York City public advocate and a Democratic mayoral candidate, joined NOW with Alex Wagner Tuesday to discuss efforts to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows by allowing them to have state drivers licenses and municipal I.D.s.
A recent report by the Center for Migration Studies found that 750,000 of the nation’s 11.7 million undocumented workers live in New York State, behind only California, Texas, and Florida.
“If someone doesn’t have an ID or they don’t have a driver’s license, life is unlivable for them and their family,” De Blasio said. “What we’re doing is encouraging them toward further illegality, to drive a car without a license, saying don’t get a legal lease, don’t get a bank account. What it means is we are marginalizing people further who are in fact our neighbors and co-workers.”
De Blasio first proposed the idea in a Daily News Op-Ed earlier this month.
De Blasio’s appearance came as a new Marist poll of New York City registered Democrats showed him in third place with 12%, behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (24%) and former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner (19%). Twenty-three percent remained undecided.
“I’m not worried about any other candidate,” De Blasio said. “I’ve been talking about what I call the tale of two cities, a New York City that is increasingly unaffordable and impossible for middle class and working class people to live in and that takes a serious change from the Bloomberg years.”