New Haven, CT, has taken what I personally consider one of the smartest next steps in dealing with the illegal immigration problem. Bringing illegal immigrants out of hiding:
Dozens of people lined up at City Hall on Tuesday for municipal identification cards, the first city-issued ID cards specifically designed to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows and give them access to community services. …
… “The simple straightforward purpose here is to build a stronger community,” Mayor John DeStefano said. “You can’t police a community of people who won’t talk to our cops.”
The mayor said the federal government had failed to address immigration-related issues, forcing cities to find ways to manage them. New Haven is simply acknowledging the people who already live there, he said.
“I think New Haven is doing something that makes sense for New Haven,” DeStefano said. “Service to one another in community, more than waving an American flag, defines the spirit of our soul.” – [Yahoo/AP]
I think this action on the part of Mayor DeStefano and the city of New Haven indicates a much better understanding of the true nature of the illegal immigrant problem, as opposed to the pseudo-patriotic exclusivist rhetoric I keep hearing people spew over and over. The true issue is how to build a strong community. In fact it is about how to build a strong America.
America was built, and has grown very strong I might add, on the principle of “Strength in diversity”. I think the city of New Haven has admirably demonstrated that they understand this concept. And the added benefit is that now, these folks will actually be able to actively participate in the strengthening that community, as opposed to being invisible, passive, and even detrimental elements of it.
Conn. city offers illegal immigrants IDs – [Yahoo/AP]