A San Francisco Superior court Judge ruled yesterday that the City of San Francisco may proceed with its plan to issue municipal identification cards to all residents, regardless of legal status. The ruling held that the plan does not violate any state or federal statutes.
Opponents of the plan had sued the city claiming that the issuance of municipal identification cards would amount to aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Proponents of the plan feel that municipal identification cards will help residents easier access city services such as obtaining library cards and contacting the police. Many people are afraid to call the police because they do not wish to identify themselves. With a city identification card, they would be more willing to call. City ID cards will also help the homeless obtain services that they may otherwise have difficulty obtaining because they do not have a way to get a California ID.
It is anticipated that the program will begin in early 2009. If it starts, San Francisco would be the first largest city in the United States to issue municipal identification.