Palabra Final

Another city takes immigration reform into its own hands — riling conservatives in the process

Another city takes immigration reform into its own hands — riling conservatives in the process

LatinaLista — Whenever states or cities decide to take immigration policing into their own hands, conservatives applaud the move. In fact, a favorite line has become that since Washington won't do it the state and local communities have to take up the slack and do it themselves.

Of course, conservatives are rooting for those measures like Arizona's infamous SB1070, or Farmer's Branch, Texas' attempt to prevent renting homes and apartments to undocumented immigrants. Measures like these, that are oppressive and border on violating basic human rights, have thus far been the examples of local intervention in the federal handling of undocumented immigration.

Well, a new city is joining the ranks of taking immigration law into their own hands and it's bound to get people upset — namely, conservatives.

The Los Angeles City Council Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee have unanimously voted to provide undocumented immigrants with an official city ID card known as City Services Card. The card would allow L.A. residents, regardless of immigration status, to open bank accounts and access city services.

A handful of cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, issue identification cards to anyone who can prove residency, regardless of immigration status. Villaraigosa said it's time that the Los Angeles metro area — home to an estimated 4.3 million immigrants — joined them.

The notion that oppressing and depriving a sizable group of people is a logical strategy to address undocumented immigration has never made sense, even with the intent of making life so uncomfortable that they would want to leave.

However, immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants who have established roots in the country, are not like most people. They will tough it out because no matter how hard life is here, returning is not an option.

Rather than forcing them to remain in the shadows of society and putting their lives and the lives of American citizens at risk, it makes far more sense to bring them out in the open and give them the tools they need to live a humane and accountable life, as they correct their citizenship status.

Because in the end, 12 million people will not self-deport but they will do everything they have to do to become full-fledged contributors to US society.

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