By giving illegal immigrants identification cards, an
immigration expert says the mayor of one California city is
creating a "veneer of reality."
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) wants to issue
official city identification cards to illegal
immigrants, making it easier for them to open bank accounts.
The cards, which officials describe as similar to student IDs,
would be issued to immigrants who meet certain criteria, giving
them access to city services. They would include a photo of the
individual, his or her address, date of birth, and a physical
Roy Beck, founder and
president of NumbersUSA, does not like the message that goes
along with the IDs.
"It gives a veneer of reality whenever there is no reality," he
suggests. "Most people around the world don't want to break the
law. They don't want to have to operate kind of in the shadows and
not have identification and all that kind of stuff."
Legal and illegal immigrants who can prove their residency would
receive the city identification cards, making illegal immigrants
more visible to law enforcement, according to supporters.
"When you offer official identification, you're basically
saying, the city is saying, we know that you're breaking
federal law. We know that you're probably taking jobs from
unemployed Americans who would like to have those jobs, but it's
okay with us," Beck asserts.
The Los Angeles Times reports that roughly
4.3 million immigrants live in Los Angeles.