SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
A notoriously liberal California city that boasts about its illegal immigrant sanctuary status will become the nationâ??s first large municipality to document the undocumented by offering them government identification cards.
San Francisco was officially proclaimed an illegal immigrant â??Sanctuary Cityâ? by its board of supervisors in 1989 and now lawmakers are taking it a huge step further by creating legislation to grant illegal aliens official city identification cards.
The small Connecticut town of New Haven has such a program but San Francisco will become the first major U.S. city to offer those in the country illegally an official government ID. The legislation is being drafted by San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano, has the mayorâ??s unconditional support and is expected to be unanimously approved by the board.
The cards will be accepted by all agencies and organizations that receive city funding and will allow illegal immigrants to open accounts at financial institutions. The measure could spark a trend among other major U.S. citiesâ??New York, Detroit and Dallas among them–already exploring the possibility of creating such a law.
The first step is becoming an official illegal immigrant â??Sanctuary City,â? which a growing number of municipalities across the nation have done. They include Detroit, Houston, Seattle, Baltimore and San Diego. Some states–such as Alaska, Oregon and New Jersey–actually have blanket sanctuary laws.
San Franciscoâ??s soon-to-be-passed ID measure subverts federal immigration laws, but officials say it is necessary because illegal aliens who witness or are victims of crime donâ??t come forward because they donâ??t have proper identification and fear deportation.
One newspaper editorial points out that San Francisco lawmakers have for years ignored the crucial issues involving illegal immigrants; that they are often the perpetrators of crime, overburden the public school system and hospital emergency rooms.
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