Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has proposed offering identification cards to all of the city’s residents,  including undocumented immigrants. Doing so would not only grant Dallas’ large population of Mexican immigrants free access to government or other municipal services but also formally involve them in the local economy, Rawlings told local reporters Tuesday.

The photo IDs would give undocumented immigrants who don't have access to other forms of formal identification the ability to cash checks, pursue legal employment and acquire library cards. 

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The ID cards could also provide undocumented immigrants an avenue to open bank accounts in addition to giving them a way to identify themselves to local law enforcement officers, Liz cedilla-Pereira, head of Dallas’ Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs, told Dallas News.

New York City, which committed $30 million towards resources for its 3.1 million immigrants last year, launched its own identification program called IDNYC in 2015, making municipal IDs available to all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status so they can receive city benefits. Roughly 900,000 people have signed up for the IDNYC program, Nisha Agarwal, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, told the Wall Street Journal Oct. 31, 2016. Los Angeles and Washington D.C. have also implemented similar programs.

Critics of such ID programs have routinely said they contributed to undocumented immigration, illegal voting and identity theft. Texas’ conservative-leaning state legislature has criticized so-called sanctuary cities like New York City and Los Angeles for refusing to hand over the names of undocumented citizens to federal immigration officials.

Rawlings, a Democrat, said would he work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that anyone received the IDs would comply with federal and state laws. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the paperwork required for people to sign up for the IDNYC program wouldn't be given to the federal government to prevent any of its residents from getting deported. It was not immediately clear whether Dallas' program would disclose the names of unidentified immigrants to federal immigration authorities. However, Dallas voted to become adopt sanctuary city policies last month.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area had the sixth largest Hispanic population in the county in 2012, with more than 1.7 million Hispanics. There were roughly 6.3 million Hispanics living across the U.S., NBC News reported in 2012. There were approximately 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, making up 3.5 percent of the U.S. population, the Pew Research Center reported in November. Among those, roughly 52 percent were Mexican.