Good News from Oakland!
As federal inaction on immigration continues (the Obama administration postponed an immigration reform meeting, again), cities across the country are not afraid to enact smart integrative immigration policies.
This time, the good news comes from the city of Oakland. Last week, the City Council voted to create a municipal ID card for all residents, regardless of immigration status. The city's program will be modeled after similar ones in San Francisco and New Heaven, CT. The card will allow all residents, including the undocumented, to access city and business services and report crimes to the police.
Oakland's Vice Mayor, Ignacio De La Fuente, doesn't view this as a debate on immigration, he notes:
It makes sense to provide a municipal ID that would allow people to participate, allow people not to be afraid to provide information about crimes...These people [undocumented immigrants] are here and I have to deal with them.
Clearly, City officials are realizing that the integration of immigrants strengthens the local economy and promotes safe communities--benefiting all city residents. Congratulations to Oakland! It is more practical to create policies that integrate immigrants into our society, than to think that 12 million undocumented immigrants can be deported.