Washington Times -- Cheryl K. Chumley

New York's new identification cards for illegal immigrants go up for grabs Monday, giving the 500,000 or so individuals in the city unlawfully the chance to come out of the shadows and open bank accounts with participating institutions.

The card also gives illegals access to state buildings and a free one-year membership to enter the city's top cultural institutions, The Guardian reported.

"The system will acknowledge for the first time that I exist," said a woman who gave her name only as Lupe, 33, a mother of three who illegally came to New York from Varacruz in 2003, The Guardian reported.

Lupe said she hasn't been able to conduct banking business with her Mexican passport and that the inability to possess a proper identification card has been tough.

"I'm basically invisible in this city without proper identification," she told The Guardian reported. "My husband and I work hard every day, we have children and the security that something as simple as an ID card will give us cannot be overstated."

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rewards for illegal immigration

Updated: Wed, Jan 28th 2015 @ 9:25am EST