Archive for the 'John DeStefano' Category

Municipal ID Card

Yesterday, the board of aldermen in New Haven approved a plan for the city to issue identification cards to all residents, allowing them to utilize the services of libraries and banks. It makes good sense, because with IDs, illegal immigrants, undocumented workers can open bank accounts in New Haven. It sounds like a very minor thing, but it isn’t. Without the ability to put their money into a bank, these people are often victims of robbery. These robberies go unreported.

The ID program is not just good for the workers if they deposit their earnings into the bank, it’s good for the bank and the local economy too.

Gabe has a great rundown on New Haven’s municipal ID program over at CTLP:

Here is my bottom line – There are somewhere around 12 million undocumented aliens in the United States. The idea of deporting all of them is staggeringly unrealistic, both pragmatically and in economic terms. So we have two choices (three if you include advocating deporting all of them from your softly-padded room): Stick your head in the sand, pretend it isn’t happening, occasionally pick your head up and nibble around the margins with legislation that is sure both not to pass and to infuriate everyone, rinse, lather, repeat (you may recognize this as the approach of the federal government).

Or, do what New Haven (and, to a lesser extent the state, through allowing the children of undocumented aliens to pay instate tuition rates at public colleges) is doing and take the first step toward integrating immigrants into our society and culture, eliminating the incentive for violent criminals to use them as human ATMs, and hope that something you do somehow forces the federal government to actually address the issue. As a woman in this clip argues, the people involved are already our neighbors and will continue to be – what we do is up to us (at least, thats what I inferred her point to be before the arguing broke out).

At the end of the day, we’re talking about human beings, and whether or not we should be treating them with dignity and respect. I think we should, and I’m glad that John DeStefano and the City of New Haven are taking a step in that direction.