SAN ANTONIO - New York, San Francisco, Chicago... could San Antonio be next to issue city ID cards?
Some city officials believe San Antonio residents could benefit from such a program, like the homeless, San Antonio's youth, and undocumented immigrants.
Without identification, proponents of a city ID say that certain people have trouble opening up bank accounts, visiting food banks, even picking up their children from school.
But while support is coming from some San Antonio leaders and council candidates, it's a different story in Austin, where lawmakers are busy trying to sign S.B. 1733 into law, which would prohibit cities and counties from issuing ID's.
Leaders in El Paso have also been looking into enacting a community ID program.
However, critics say that these ID’s can backfire.
"These types of municipal ID’s, while well-intentioned, could essentially be a target on the backs of the undocumented community,” said Amy Fischer, a policy director with RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services). “If I have an encounter with local law enforcement and the only ID I can present is one of these local ID’s, that is essentially handing them a card saying that I am undocumented.”
Fischer says that they're especially concerned that the idea is being talked about as the Texas senate just passed Senate Bill 4, also known as the "sanctuary cities" bill.
“S.B. 4 is allowing them to ask, even children, their immigration status. And I would say having this type of ID might increase the probability that a law enforcement officer might, in fact, ask that question," Fischer noted. "That could have terrible consequences."
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