RICHMOND (CBS SF) – The Richmond City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a municipal identification card program for city residents.

The ID cards will provide an official government-issued form of identification to immigrants and other residents who have difficulty obtaining other forms of identification.

The program “contributes toward moving our city in a just, in an equitable and in a healthy direction,” said Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles, who brought the ordinance to the council.

The cards are meant to help people access financial services, jobs, housing and protections at home and at work.

According to a report by city staff, people without official identification are less likely to report crimes to the police and less likely to report labor and housing violations.

People without official identification also have difficulty opening bank accounts. According to the report, because many immigrants don’t have bank accounts, they often carry large sums of cash on days they get paid, which makes them targets for robbery and other violent crimes.

Lack of official identification also decreases public participation in the formal city economy and other civic matters, according to the report.

Cardholders will have the option of having their cards function as pre-paid debit cards.

“This is a way to empower our community,” Beckles said. “This is a way to empower that segment of our community that might not feel empowered.”

The program will be administered through a third-party vendor at no cost to the city. The vendor will be chosen through an open bidding process and, once it is chosen, the City Council will set fees by resolution.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Zack Debarco says:

    Don’t you just love it?!!! The claim that illegals are fearful in reporting crime is
    partially true. However, all the ones that do realize that the cops are too busy to worry about where someone came from and instead concentrate on catching the offenders. Talk about racial profiling, everytime someone flashes the new ID they are outing themsleves as an illegal and will probably be at greater risk of being deported than if they hadn’t done so. Think about it.
    Lets see how long this post stays up? Someone at KCBS likes to play censor.

  2. Tours Martel says:

    And the moon isn’t even full yet! Must be something about liberals and the noonday sun going on.

  3. Bay Area Guy says:

    My first post was censored- So much for free speach- Used the word un docu mented
    Lets see if this gets through.

  4. Bay Area Guy says:

    “This is a way to empower our community,” Beckles said. “This is a way to empower that segment of our community that might not feel empowered.”

    This is a way to EMPOWER the UN doc umented segment of ourcommunity. They are breaking the law by being here, why legitimize their presence.

    Send them back over the boarder where they belong. I’m all for setting up a third party vendor that can BUS them all back home.

  5. BOB says:

    now you changed your name to r? You are a troubled man, tou need help BAD!!!!

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