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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Hundreds wait for hours to buy S.F. ID card

    Hundreds wait for hours to buy S.F. ID card

    Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Hundreds of people stood in line for hours at San Francisco City Hall on Thursday to be among the first in the nation to receive municipal identification cards regardless of their immigration status.

    The cards, also available in New Haven, Conn., and being considered in other cities, have sparked fury among advocates of stricter immigration laws. They argue cities have no business declaring people residents if they are not in the country legally.

    But San Francisco officials and recipients of the cards hailed the new program as a way to connect undocumented immigrants with banks, businesses and city services, such as obtaining health care and checking out library books. They also said it will encourage card holders to report crimes to the police without fear of being arrested or deported.

    "I really need the identification card," said Marvin Martinez, 50, who arrived in the city five months ago from Florida and is originally from Mexico. Martinez, who didn't say whether he was a legal resident, stood in a long line - one made up mostly of Latino men - that snaked down the marble hallway outside the county clerk's office.

    "I'll use it to look for jobs and for school and when the police stop me, I'll have ID to show them," he said. "It'll improve things."

    The clerk's office expected to create 30 cards on the first day of the program, and signed up hundreds of people for appointments in the coming days. The clerk's office eventually will hand out about 50 cards per day.

    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who as a supervisor wrote the legislation creating the card program, was the first to receive a card - though he initially thought he could do so with just his driver's license and had to return with a utility bill. Even his Assembly ID card didn't count, he pointed out with a laugh.

    People must show proof of identity like a driver's license or foreign passport, as well as proof of residency such as a utility bill or proof of having a child enrolled in the city's public schools.

    "Mr. Ammiano forgot to bring his residency documents," County Clerk Karen Hong said. "Education is key."

    Ammiano, Hong and many other city officials gathered in the North Light Court on Thursday morning to announce the program. Notably absent was Mayor Gavin Newsom, who aides alternately said was running late or was busy in a meeting upstairs.

    The widespread assumption at the news conference was that Newsom - often criticized for holding too many news conferences - was avoiding the controversial issue because it may not play well in his bid for governor in 2010.

    "He ducked it," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said. "My take is whatever his larger aspirations are, they seem to be eclipsing the local gains like this. He should be proud of this, and I'm sure quietly he is."

    After an unrelated event to announce the expansion of a free Wi-Fi program for public housing residents, Newsom said he had been meeting with his budget director during the identification card event. He said he's not worried about how the program will affect his run for governor.

    "This would go at the end of a very long list of things that will be points of consternation that will be targeted against me," he said. There had been earlier talk of him joining Ammiano to get a card himself to promote the program, which he also rejected.

    "I've got more IDs than I need," he said. "This is for other people. This is not for the mayor of San Francisco. In fact, with respect, I appreciate some city employees getting it, but I wish it was going to the people it was intended for in the first day or two."

    Newsom supported identification cards when Board of Supervisors approved the program in 2007. But he put the program on hold last summer following a series of Chronicle articles about how the city was shielding youth in the country illegally from deportation after they were found guilty of committing felonies.

    That practice was stopped, and Newsom said he wanted to ensure the identification cards complied with state and federal laws before going forward.

    The Immigration Reform Law Institute of Washington sued to block the cards on behalf of four San Francisco residents who said the program would aid illegal immigration. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch tossed the suit in October.

    Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform - a national group that wants immigration laws enforced more strongly - said it's ridiculous to create a program to attract more illegal immigrants when most U.S. cities are struggling financially.

    "Maybe San Francisco is the exception to the rule, and they have money to burn - who knows?" Mehlman said.

    City Administrator Ed Lee said the machinery to produce the cards cost $700,000 and staffing will cost $150,000 annually.

    Supporters said the program isn't just for illegal immigrants. Homeless people often have trouble obtaining ID cards because they have no fixed address. And transgender people are sometimes stigmatized if they show a driver's license that indicates their legal sex is different from how they appear; the city cards have no sex designation.

    About San Francisco's ID cards
    To get a card, make an appointment up to 30 days in advance at the County Clerk's office, room 168 in City Hall, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling (415) 554-4950.

    At the appointment, you will fill out an application, show proof of identity (like a driver's license or foreign passport) and proof of city residency (like a utility bill), pay $5 to $15, get a picture taken and receive the card within 20 minutes.

    The card is good at some banks and credit unions, some participating businesses offering discounts to cardholders, libraries, to reserve park space and at all city departments and other groups receiving city money.

    The cards are not a license to drive, not intended to be used as proof of legal age to buy alcohol or cigarettes, and not accepted by federal agencies.

    For more information, visit or call 311.

    Chronicle staff writer Erin Allday contributed to this report. E-mail Heather Knight at

    Gothic1/15/2009 11:56:19 PM

    We've got an utter budget crisis and we're spending money so that illegal aliens can get city services with our tax dollars. That *is* the sole purpose of this joke.

    Recommend: (74)(7)[Report Abuse]
    triplx1/15/2009 11:54:54 PM

    There's a million that could have been trimmed. Oh well, time for me to get in line to get my ID card with a fake name so I can speed, apply for a few credit cards, etc.

    Recommend: (63)(4)[Report Abuse]
    usernamewitheld1/16/2009 12:03:30 AM

    Will Edwin Ramos be given a furlough so he can apply for his card? When one of these card holders commits a crime, SF will be liable. Newsom is an idiot. Gordon Getty is an even bigger idiot for funding his gubernatorial bid.

    Recommend: (41)(4)[Report Abuse]

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  2. #2
    Senior Member cayla99's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Indiana, formerly of Northern Cal
    How many Americans must die in the City by the Bay before they get it? Does anybody know the outcome of the Bologna case?
    Proud American and wife of a wonderful LEGAL immigrant from Ireland.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member PatrioticMe's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by cayla99
    How many Americans must die in the City by the Bay before they get it? Does anybody know the outcome of the Bologna case?
    I never heard anything in terms of a follow up. It will probably take years to settle everything.

  4. #4
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Selling out our country to illegals

    Barbara Simpson
    Posted: January 19, 2009
    1:00 am Eastern

    © 2009

    San Francisco politicians have no connection to reality.

    In the midst of huge financial struggles for the city, the Board of Supervisors began issuing municipal identification cards last week to anyone who provides an ID and a utility bill with a local address or evidence of a child in local public schools.

    It sounds innocuous except that the main, and likely only, true beneficiaries of the cards, are illegal aliens.

    Again: what is there about the word "illegal" the supervisors don't understand?

    In a case of unintended consequences, this all ties into the national financial crashes.

    California is on the ropes financially as is virtually every city in the state. Real estate is tanking, banks are failing, credit is virtually nonexistent, businesses are folding right and left, hiring is at a standstill, unemployment lines get longer and people are finally getting the message that the bubble has burst and reality is settling in with a vengeance.

    We're in trouble financially and struggling to survive.

    It's clear San Francisco doesn't care. Estimates are that the card program will initially cost nearly $900,000 on top of an unbalanced city budget.

    Hundreds lined up last Thursday to get their IDs. Reservations were made to handle the applicants; it's estimated when the system gets rolling, they'll give out 50 every day.

    The idea is that the cards will make it easier for people to do business with banks and other businesses, to get credit, to take advantage of city services including health care and even – to check out library books!

    They'll also make it easier for illegals to get jobs – work that should go to American citizens. – and it doesn't hurt to have an ID card when the cops stop you.

    The fact that the information on the card could be totally false doesn't seem to bother anyone.

    For years, Mexican consulates across the country have been handing out "matricular consular" cards to any Mexican who wants one. They're supposed to identify the individual by name and that they're a Mexican citizen. That's it. There's nothing about immigration status or even identity verification.

    Illegals can use these cards as part of their "proof of residence" to get the San Francisco ID. The whole scheme creates a fake, paper trail toward amnesty for illegals.

    San Francisco supervisors approved the card idea in 2007. There was a huge uproar when word got out, but they ignored it.

    Then came the murder in broad daylight of a father and his two adult sons by illegals who were gang members and who, it turned out, were being protected from deportation by San Francisco's Juvenile Department with the tacit blessing of Mayor Gavin Newsom and the supervisors.

    A series of scathing articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, which exposed the extent of the city protecting supposedly juvenile, illegal felons, caused Mayor Newsom to shelve the ID card program temporarily.

    Several city residents sued, claiming the ID cards helped and encouraged illegal immigration. But in October, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch threw the case out.

    With that, up popped the plan again, and this time they're doing it. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who as supervisor wrote the card law, was on hand to get his own card, as were other Board members.

    Ah, the symbolism!

    Speaking of symbolism, Mayor Newsom wasn't there. According to the Chronicle, Newsom's aides "… alternately said (he) was running late or was busy in a meeting upstairs."

    Wiser politicos surmised the mayor avoided being there because of concern negative connotations would hurt his run for governor next year.

    He got burned for approving "gay" marriage despite the state constitution. Apparently, he doesn't want Californians to know he supports illegal immigration, which violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

    But this story connects directly to the recession/depression.

    Since 2002, Mexico has pushed issuing "matricular consular" cards to Mexicans living in this country – most illegally, but they didn't ask.

    Then in 2006 and 2007, U.S. banks, smelling new business, got in on the action and began accepting the matricular cards as ID and allowing Hispanics to get credit cards. Bank of America started a pilot program in Los Angeles followed by national expansion. They said they wanted to help people lacking solid credit histories and had nothing to do with immigration.

    Wells Fargo & Co and Citibank launched similar programs. In 2006, Wells Fargo began offering home mortgages to "immigrants" who lived in the U.S. for two years and who didn't have a Social Security number.

    But Wells Fargo offered bank accounts to foreigners with Mexican consulate ID cards as early as 2001. They were the first; others followed. None questioned immigration status. Scores of banks across the country did the same.

    Am I the only one to see a relationship between the bank crisis/mortgage meltdown and this rampant giveaway of money to people who should never have such access? How many of the bank problems and foreclosures are results of such lending policies to illegals?

    The Los Angeles Times, in 2007, quoted Bank of America spokeswoman Alexandra C. Trower as saying they complied with all laws.

    The same article quoted Wells Fargo spokesman Mary Trigg. Wells Fargo, which opened more than a million Mexican accounts, also accepts ID cards from Guatemala, Columbia and Argentina.

    Trigg said it's assumed most card users are illegal but that the bank doesn't ask.

    Citibank and other banks did the same.

    Do those bank names sound familiar? Is anyone paying attention to the billions the government has given to bail them out and how many billions more they want?

    Am I the only one to ask why this connection to illegal aliens hasn't been part of the discussion?

    Maybe I'm the only one with the guts to ask, but we still need answers.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  5. #5
    Senior Member redpony353's Avatar
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    May 2007
    This just makes me want to vomit. There are not even words to describe how disturbing this is to me. And do you think Newsom asked the citizens of San Francisco if they want these ID cards handed out to illegals? You know the answer to that already. Well the citizens of SF DO NOT want this. Just like we dont want to be a sanctuary city.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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