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San Francisco Delays Controversial Immigrant ID Cards

Can I see some ID? For immigrants in San Francisco, the answer to that is "not quite yet." Plans to roll out a controversial program providing identification for all residents regardless of legal status is on hold for the moment. The plan is suspended pending a "thorough review" of its legality, and cities that were set to watch the rollout for plans of their own are put off for the moment.

Based on a similar ID plan in New Haven, CT, Mayor Gavin Newsom says he sees it as a practical move that will ease receipt of local services and make it easier for city government workers to determine who is eligible to get them. The delay has caused detractors to question the real motive — is it accounting or ambition? Supervisor Tom Ammiano accused Newsom of backtracking on the issue because of his possible 2010 gubernatorial bid. Ammiano said, "the perception in the community is that this is alarmist, and it's more about the mayor's ambitions to become governor."

Is giving out an ID card to all residents to qualify them for city services a good idea — or another loosening of laws in the proud sanctuary city?


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