Just one o’ them crazy coincidences

NEW HAVEN — Federal agents arrested 29 illegal immigrants in a raid Wednesday, two days after the city approved a program to make municipal identification cards available to them, federal officials said.

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Matos and Jessica Mayorga, a spokeswoman for New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, said they believe the raids are related to the Board of Aldermen’s 25-1 vote this week to create all-purpose municipal identification cards. The cards will allow illegal immigrants to open bank accounts and use other services that may be unavailable without driver’s licenses or state-issued identification cards.

“Just two days ago the Board of Aldermen approved this resolution, and today we have the federal government terrifying New Haven residents and taking people away,” Matos said.

Grenier said the raids had nothing to do with the city’s approval of the ID program.

“These are routine fugitive operations,” he said. “We have teams deployed all over the U.S.”

Supporters say the ID program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will help keep the city’s estimated 15,000 illegal immigrants safe. If they can open bank accounts, they will not need to carry large amounts of cash, a practice that makes them easy targets for robbers.

Story here. The ID card program is the first in the nation; this is clearly federal payback.