Oakland is the latest city to defy federal laws and grant identification cards to those here illegally. The Oakland City Council has followed in San Francisco’s foot steps by giving illegal aliens a pathway to identification.
Those in favor of the new law say it will boost civic participation, add cooperation with local law enforcement and set out the welcome mat. “This is a city that’s always been a gateway city for immigrants,” says Jean Quan and Oakland councilmember. “We are proud of that.”
The cost to the taxpayer remains unresolved. The city is currently reviewing different plans as to how to issue the cards and who will bear the cost of this new city law. A similar law in San Francisco will cost its constituents $828,000 this year and approximately $365,000 in future years, according to the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office.
“These people are here,” Ignacio De La Fuente, Oakland councilmember said. “People like us (local government) have to deal with the facts and have to deal with the impact of immigrants.”
This new law is considered a victory for the Oakland ID Card Coalition who has tried to get the measure approved for months. “Having a large community of residents who aren’t reporting crime and aren’t reporting serious housing and employment violations – it really hurts all of Oakland,” says Jesse Newmark an attorney for Centro Legal de la Raza and coalition member.
It is interesting to see this type of law pass in a time when 15 million Americans cannot find a job and more than 32.2 million Americans are on food stamps, according to the Department of Labor and Statistics.
Those who see Oakland as lawbreaking city are not alone. “The California Taxpayer Protection Act will super cede any city-issued cards to those here illegally. Taxpayers have a right to know that their tax dollars are only going to legal residents,” said Ted Hilton the author of the California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010.
“The fact that a city can pass an ID law like this is ridiculous,” Julie Johnson, a California resident said.
Another concerned citizen, Carol Derbis of OWL, has something more telling to say to the city of Oakland. “Any locality which provides ‘legal’ ID cards for those who are here illegally instead of sending ICE to deport these lawbreakers should be forced to forgo any state and federal funding of any kind.”
It remains to be seen as to the affects of this new law, especially since the golden state is under such duress that San Quentin Prisoners may have to give up its tennis courts and drama programs.