Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES — A controversial plan for the city to provide identification cards to Los Angeles residents, including undocumented immigrants, for assistance with banking and other services was approved by the City Council on Wednesday.

The 12-1 vote asks banks and other financial institutions to develop the program and ensure there are no costs to the city.

The cards, which can also be used for city library services, could be issued for fees of $10 to $15. Officials said they wanted a report back in 90 days.

“This is not a pathway to naturalization,” said Councilman Richard Alarcón, who introduced the proposal in cooperation with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “But it is a pathway to a better way of life.”

Alarcón said the intent of the program is to help the estimated 400,000 people who are unable or afraid to use banks and don’t want to walk around with large amounts of cash or pay high rates at check-cashing stores.