The City of New Haven Responds…Your Questions Answered

In our first webinar, “Routes to Belonging: The Role of Cities in the Civic and Political Integration of Immigrants” the presentation by Kica Matos, on the City of New Haven’s brave and innovative Elm City ID Card (the first of its kind in the US) raised so many follow up questions by participants wanting to learn more that the time ran out before she could respond to them all.

As a follow up, Kica has kindly rejoined Cities of Migration to provide further insight into the program. Have another question or want to know more? See or Contact us at:

Question: How many non-immigrants have the ID card? What is the benefit for non-immigrants to get the ID card? – from, The Migration Policy Institute, Washington, USA

Kica: “The City of New Haven does not keep track of ID card holders on the basis of status. In addition to being an ID card per se, the card also serves as a library card, a debit card, is a coinless alternative to parking meters and garages and gives residential access to the public beach, golf course and recycling center.

Question: How did you deal with concerns that people might have had that the US national immigration authorities would want to access the names in the database? from, The Maytree Foundation, Toronto, Canada

Kica: The information in the database does not reveal anyone’s immigration status. Moreover, in 2008, the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, after a series of hearings, held that information contained in our database falls under one of the Freedom of Information exemptions and thus, cannot be released. Procedurally, to quality for this exemption, the city received a letter confirming this from the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Question: Do you have security information on your card that can accessed by the police? from, The Intercultural Work Group, Dublin North West, Inner City Network, Dublin Ireland.

Our records are private and we kept at City Hall. The information cannot be accessed by the police.