By Dominique Peridans, January 15, 2013
Center for Immigration Studies

Los Angeles has really joined the ranks of cities that are taking immigration law into their own hands. Indeed, last March, "the city stopped impounding the vehicles of anyone caught driving without a license, effectively allowing many illegal immigrants to keep their cars." Then, in October, "the police chief announced that the department would stop handing illegal immigrants charged with low-level offenses over to federal authorities for deportation." Later in October, "a plan to provide official photo identification cards for illegal immigrants moved easily through a Los Angeles City Council committee ... with an array of supporters lauding it as a practical way to incorporate into civic life the area's large undocumented population." These municipal cards will allow illegal immigrants to open bank accounts and gain access to other services. It is more compassion than the average citizen knows what to do with.

A vocal figure in all of this is Eduardo "Ed" Reyes, member of the City Council representing District 1. In speaking of this measure regarding illegal immigrants, Councilman Reyes said: "This card allows people who have been living in the shadows to be out in the light of day." And he goes on to say, "Some say this is a federal issue and not our problem. Well, I'm sorry, I beg to differ."

Is this a case of arrogance or forgetfulness? It was the same Councilman Ed Reyes who co-sponsored Los Angeles city's boycott of Arizona following the implementation of Arizona's immigration law SB 1070. Underlying the arguments against Arizona's initiative to curb illegal immigration was the criticism that the state was usurping federal authority, indeed, was violating the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It is interesting (or rather, sad) that, after criticizing its neighbors, the city of Los Angeles is doing the very thing it criticized. I suppose the City Council does not see it as the same thing. There are those who, with great ease, apply a double standard, justified by their presumption of moral and intellectual superiority. A predictable expression of such presumption is found in what Councilman Reyes says regarding opponents of official photo identification cards for illegal immigrants, "cooler heads will prevail and understand the humanity of the suggestion." It is more compassion than the average citizen knows what to do with.

Immigration Law Double Standard: L.A.-Style | Center for Immigration Studies