In an odd, having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too sort of parallel of stories, illegal immigration has hit the city of San Francisco in a confusing way. The city is both actively advertising for illegal immigrants, and under audit for taking millions of dollars of federal money to combat border crimes.
The problem with the dough? San Francisco is 500 miles from any border, and beat out all four states bordering Mexico for banking the most cash. The city has received $5.4 million since 2004 to help secure their "border," and the federal audit found that found the city was not entitled to any of the funds.
What's a great story to balance this? How about the $83,000 ad campaign launched last week trumpeting the city's amnesty status and inviting all to come on aboard? To see the details of their "Got Immigrants?" campaign,
The ad campaign just launched shows images of smiling residents and the iconic city skyline and spreads the message in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian.
Partially prompted by a series of federal immigration raids, the ads aim to promise safe access to city services for the undocumented and a look-the-other-way policy when it comes to residency status. Mayor Gavin Newsom said of the campaign, "We are standing up to say to all of our residents: We don't care what your status is. We care that you, as a human being, are a resident of our city and we want you to participate in the life of our city."
Of course not all illegal immigrants commit crimes, but advertising a hands-off policy while pulling in all kinds of government loot to prosecute immigration crimes? The city can't explain it either, issuing no answer as to why a city 500 miles from a border would have prosecuted more than 2,000 cases for the federal government that were related to drug gangs and crimes near the border in a three-year period, and they've been silent on the money too.
Should a city be allowed to herald its amnesty status? Do you think it's an admirable and humane example to follow? What about all that money — do you think the two are related?