The Windy City has a whole host of issues to deal with these days, many of them centered around the fact that you’re more likely to be murdered there than in Fallujah on any given day. But rather than worrying about pesky little problems like that, the city council has decided to go after the really big ticket items on the agenda. One of these is to begin creating and distributing special municipal ID cards for various “underserved” groups including illegal immigrants. What could possibly go wrong? (CBS News, local)
A program to create municipal identification cards passed overwhelmingly, but not unanimously, out of the Chicago City Council on Wednesday.
The city program will make it easier for undocumented immigrants, the homeless, ex-inmates and others to get the IDs and some city services
Ald. Anthony Beale was one of four who voted against the measure – and the $3 million price tag.
“I still believe this is the jurisdiction of the state and federal government,” he said.
Rahm Emanuel is pushing this project as yet another fairly transparent effort to “fight Trump.” When asked why they weren’t letting the state and federal government handle such matters, he replied, “The last people you’d want to turn for help right now is the federal government.”
Yes, heaven forbid you get them involved. But it’s worth noting that at least part of this plan isn’t all that crazy. There are some services which are provided strictly by the municipal government and truly are best managed at the local level. When it comes to programs to assist the homeless, the mentally ill or chronic drug addicts, the city is best suited to address those needs and some of their citizens may indeed need a special ID in order to be served. New York City has been doing it for years, and while the programs hit a couple of hiccups here and there it largely seems to work. Of course, the wheels come off the wagon as soon as you start including illegal aliens in the program since they aren’t supposed to be receiving any public services paid for by the taxpayers to begin with.
There’s a second question which Rahm should have asked before starting this project. Do the illegal immigrants actually want ID cards which put them into the public data bank? I was just reading an article at Route Fifty this week which shows that an increasing number of illegals are panicking over the idea of their names and other data being part of the public record ever since Trump took office.
In the face of stepped-up deportation efforts, many unauthorized immigrants worry that state and local programs that are designed to help them could instead be used by federal agents to identify and expel them from the country.
About a dozen states have created special driver’s license programs for people who can’t prove U.S. citizenship, and more than a dozen cities have started identification programs so that unauthorized immigrants and others can complete tasks such as opening bank accounts, enrolling their children in school and receiving government services.
Under the programs, most of which were created in the last five years, state and local government agencies have reviewed and perhaps retained millions of documents with personal information about the applicants, such as their names, addresses and foreign identification numbers.
The bottom line, as the article’s author freely admits, is that there really isn’t any evidence that ICE has been obtaining this data from these ID card programs nor that they’ve ever even asked for it. But that’s not the point. There is a sense of fear in the illegal immigrant “community” ever since Trump was sworn in that such things might be happening. And that’s leading some of them to pull out of such programs. It’s the same phenomenon that we’re seeing with illegal border crossings. Nothing all that much has really changed in terms of enforcement or border security, but the fear that it might be has driven illegal immigration numbers way down this year. It’s the Trump Effect in action.
And if you’ll pardon my saying so, that’s a good thing. It doesn’t cost any money or additional resources and it produces results.