Undocumented immigrants in New York are on the front lines of combating the COVID-19 crisis. Those same communities have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and the economic fallout it has created. They were cut out of the federal government's initiative to give cash directly to most taxpayers and are ineligible for unemployment insurance.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday signed a new law creating an ID card for anyone who wants it, including illegal immigrants, amid a wider debate about immigrant rights. De Blasio said it would help illegal immigrants -- there are 500,000 in New York, he estimated -- get better access to a range of services in the city such as opening a bank account or getting a lease on a property.