Phoenix considers plan to issue ID cards

The City of Phoenix is one step closer to a controversial plan that would issue ID cards to undocumented immigrants. The Phoenix City Council voted to keep researching the proposal.

The municipal ID would have a residents name, date of birth, and possibly even medical information and emergency contact information on it. Any Phoenix resident regardless of legal status would be able to get one.

The council voted 5-4 to move the process along. Supporters of the measure packed the council chambers Wednesday evening and gave testimony.

Many say it will allow undocumented residents a chance to feel safer when reporting crimes. Supporters also say homeless people without access to their birth certificate would now be able to have a valid ID.

The City ID would be accepted by places such as the light rail, schools, and at public libraries. The ID, however, would not allow residents a chance to drive or vote.

Opponents of the plan say the card isn't necessary, anyone without an ID can still report crimes.

"This will allow people to come forward with vital information with crimes they may have witnessed, to report crimes where they may have been victims, and even interact in a general sense with law enforcement in a way they currently fear they cannot without being pressured to show some type of identification," said Jeremy Helfgot.

"It will cost a boatload of money when push comes to shove. We can do it, the state will prevent us from doing it, we will have spent a boatload of money, and we will have accomplished nothing," said Councilman Jim Waring.

The city council's vote starts the official process to figure out how a municipal ID's would be cost neutral to the city. Though already there are efforts underway in the state legislature to gut the effort. The Phoenix City Council is expected to make a final vote on the matter in the Summer of 2016.