I'm in love with San Francisco all over again. Beginning next year, San Francisco will be issuing identification cards to anyone who lives there.
Javier Erik Olvera of Mercury News Reports:
The board of supervisors Tuesday gave the final OK needed to create the ID card program, systematically legitimizing the city's estimated 40,000 illegal immigrants.
The cards will be available to anyone living in the city next August and used as proof of identity when it comes to most facets of city business, from library service to police stops. Although immigrants are the prime target for the ID program, the cards will available to anyone who wants them.
Here's what I love--anyone can get one. We have the power to single out or not single out undocumented immigrants, depending on the actions of legal San Franciscan residents. If we are to truly fight for their rights to human decency, we need legal San Franciscan residents to use these ID cards too. If I lived there, I'd get one immediately.
Why? Because I feel that it is necessary to erase the stigma. Let's not make this into a Food Stamp situation--let's try to add more than one color and one language to the look and feel of these cards. San Francisco's political leaders have taken the first step, but it is now in the hands of San Francisco's legal residents to walk side-by-side with the undocumented residents and get ID cards so that no one is singled out or negatively labeled by this program, which has the potential to be a triumph or a disaster depending on how it is handled.
The first step has been taken, the second step is necessary if we are to fight racism and injustice.
Get an ID card and use it. Show it to the police, librarians, and everyone else who asks for a form of identification. Only when they ask for a specific other form of identification should you revert to the California ID card.
Although San Francisco is not the first place to issue this ID system, it is one of the few. With all my heart and soul, I am praying that as many people as possible will participate to bring our beaten and bruised undocumented peoples out of the shadows and into a new light of human decency.
This is only the first step people, let's get everyone involved and prove to less progressive parts of our country that this is a great idea!