Latest News

Chicago ID program a ploy to target Latino voters, critic says

A Chicago plan to offer government-issued identification cards to anyone residing in the city will make getting a fake ID much simpler, a town alderman said.

Is it likely to be a way for individuals get fake identification? I think there is a strong chance for that happening, said Chicago Alderman Nick Sposato.

Critics also think the app is a ploy for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to pick up Latino votes as he potentially gears up to run for mayor again.


I think it’s all about votes. I mean, I think they’re just trying to please a specific demographic in the city to say: Hey we’re for you, we support you and I think that is what it is about, Sposato said.

Emanuel is forging ahead with plans to get the million-dollar app, regardless of the criticism.

“Chicago will not relinquish our status as a welcoming town, Emanuel said at a recent media conference.

The town says the free IDs can help those who currently struggle to get one like the homeless, previously incarcerated and undocumented immigrants live a better life.


“You need an ID for a job. You need an ID to get an apartment. You just need an ID for everything, said Gilbert Villegas, Chair of Chicago City Councils Latino Caucus.

Villegas says an applicant will not need to prove U.S. residency. The citys website says that someone is going to be asked to prove they live in Chicago but it does not cite U.S. residency documentation.

A spokesperson for the Chicago City Clerk, Kate Lefurgy, told Fox News all rules are still being drafted.

Sposato said the program could make an underground market for ID scams.

“I am worried about fraud here and I am worried who’s going to find these. Who is going to say who they are? Who is going to vouch for who they say they’re, Sposato said. Can someone walk in when we open that door daily, can anybody walk in and say I am John Smith and will they get an ID saying they are John Smith.”

Villegas confessed, as with any method, there might be some terrible actors.

“There are going to be penalties set up for the ones that do commit fraud, ” he said.

The town is currently taking bids to create the applications which can administer the IDs and is finalizing what types of files it will take and when an applicant will require someone to vouch for them.

Safety and fraud protection are our top priorities, LeFurgy wrote in an e-mail. Like the other offices across our state that administer government IDs, we will have trained professionals that will authenticate these documents.

Villegas says Chicago decided to pick up the rate of this app after president Trump has been elected.

“This ordinance was already being worked on but there was a feeling of expediency when the government changed at the federal level, Villegas said.

Chicago’s ID program was modeled in part after San Francisco’s, which has issued more than 20,000 IDS. That town has assured it will shield archival information from the national government.

Sposato considers the Chicago program is going to most likely end up costing at least three times more than the million-dollar budget.

Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC

Read more:

Most Popular

To Top