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City Hall - Elm City Resident Card

The Elm City Resident Card was an initiative led by Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA) to give the New Haven’s undocumented immigrants a form of identification that would help ensure their safety. Many undocumented immigrants were not able to deposit their money into banks because they lacked an ID. As a result, many had no choice but to carry large sums of cash around and were targets, prone to robbery. Previous similar initiatives were rejected by the city council because they believed the card would single out undocumented immigrants.

However, JUNTA for Progressive Action and the ULA appealed to the Board of Alders a new idea -- a card that would be useful to all residents, not only undocumented immigrants. The Elm City ID card allowed all New Haven residents, regardless of legal status, to take out library books, open a bank account, and served as a debit card to various grocery stores in town. On July 24, 2007, the city approved the program and issued the first of the identification cards. Hundreds of people lined up outside of City Hall in anticipation of receiving their resident card. 

Less than two days after the introduction of the resident card, Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) detained 34 immigrants, seemingly in retaliation for this new ID card. In response, community leaders raised funds for the detainees' bails, and ULA traveled across the Fair Haven community, telling card holders what to do if they came into contact with ICE. The group also organized a march with over 1,000 participants rising up for undocumented immigrants and their rights. This event included community members, union members, clergy and elected officials all over the state marching in solidarity for the detained immigrants. The Resident Card program was very successful; in the first five weeks, over 3,000 ID cards were issued.

A Peoples' History of the Hill
  1. The Hill Intro
  2. Long Wharf
  3. Directions to Jackson Newspaper Protest Site
  4. Jackson Newspaper Protest
  5. Directions to Trowbridge Square Park
  6. Trowbridge Square Park
  7. Directions to Evergreen Cemetery
  8. Evergreen Cemetery
  9. Directions to Lee High School
  10. Lee High School
  11. Directions to Oak Street Connector
  12. Oak Street Connector
  13. Directions to Temple Street Congregational Church
  14. Temple Street Congregational Church
  15. Directions to the Green (Columbus Day Protests)
  16. Columbus Day Protests
  17. UPDATE: Columbus Protest Victories
  18. Directions to the Green (Occupy Movement)
  19. Occupy Wall Street Movement
  20. Directions to the Green (CT Students for a Dream)
  21. C4D Dream Summit on the Green
  22. Directions to Amistad Memorial
  23. Amistad Memorial
  24. Directions to City Hall
  25. City Hall - Elm City Resident Card
  26. Directions to New Guinea
  27. New Guinea
  28. Directions to Superior Courthouse
  29. Superior Courthouse - Black Panther Trials
  30. Stay at the Courthouse
  31. Superior Courthouse - Support for Corey Menafee
  32. Directions Back to Trowbridge Square Park or Long Wharf
  33. End of the Hill Tour