I just heard about San Francisco’s new policy of issuing legal identification, regardless of immigration status. As Councilman Ammiato states in the video, the measure attests to the city’s policy of openness to all residents.
Critics argue “cities have no business declaring people residents if they are not in the country legally.”
However, isn’t the definition of a “resident” someone who resides in a place? Regardless of legal status, she or he is entitled to open participation in our communities; in fact, residents are already participating in our schools, our tax structures, our labor force. It’s damaging to view non-documented workers as criminals; rather, they are folks who work beside us, often in our restaurants and factories, our construction sites and low-wage jobs.
Is there a workable solution to illegal immigration? The conversation has seemed to die down because of the focus on the economy. It’s nice to learn that San Franciscans believe in equality for all.
On a related note, ABC recently aired an interesting report called “What Would You Do?” on the variety of American attitudes toward others. Some folks are discriminatory while others are appalled.