Opinion by John T. "Red" Ryan
SO NOW, THIS situation concerning so-called "Sanctuary Cities," the federal government and long existing laws never fails to amaze. Being that the actions taken by certain cities (including one that is right here on Lake Michigan) and their chief executive officers (aka "mayors") are by their very nature in violation of long standing U.S. law concerning immigration, legal visitation and integrity of our borders. All together, the laws mentioned are the heart of what makes the USA a sovereign nation.This latest development to which we refer is the latest pronouncement from the office of our own Chicago mayor.
THE INNOVATION THAT Rahm Emmanuel has thrown out for our citizenry's consideration calls for an official City of Chicago photo I.D. card for those here illegally. By its very nature, it would appear to have little or no value. It also seems that it would inherent qualities of the sort of word commonly called an oxymoron. That is defined in the dictionary as: ".........a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect." It certainly begs the question as to why would someone here in the United States in violation of the law would wish to have documentation that would appear to confirm and substantiate the fact.
AND THIS IRONICALLY comes at a time when those on the political Left are vigorously advocating the outlawing of any sort of picture identification card used as a condition of casting one's ballot at election time. This sort of faulty thinking makes for a fine addition to a similarly flawed suggestion that was floated around a year or two back. It was suggested by the Governor of some state that those illegals should be issued drivers licenses. This presumes that persons without valid licensing (or were suspended or revoked) wouldn't drive a car. (Well, we invite that governor and anyone else to consult their local police; who would tell that the only thing tat keeps these guys from driving is when they are arrested and only for that short period of time.)
BUT ALL OF this brings us back to our Mayor's suggestion for an Illegal Resident card. Other than this being a sort of publicity maneuver, we wonder just what was the motivation behind such a pronouncement?
FIRST OF ALL, we know that as a politician, he wants to retain his office. The conventional, true or not, wisdom seems to be that sympathetic attitude toward the plight of the Spanish speaking community. This theory (and it's only that) would seem to be bolstered by the weak showing that Emmanuel had in his Mayoral Election against challenger, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in 2015; which led to a runoff as neither had a majority in the first round.
OR MAYBE THIS is a ploy to create yet another layer of the Municipal Bureaucracy. The founding of a City of Chicago, Department of Undocumented Immigrants could prove to be a great shot in the arm for expanding the patronage army. The hiring of those new employees by way of the old "Spoils System" would surely expand the ranks of "Ward Heelers" and bolster the number of political operatives around the polls at election time.
PERHAPS WE'RE BEING just a tad too tough on Mr. Emmanuel. He could well be on to something with this highly specialized identification card. It could be expanded and include other classes of those who are live in violation of various areas of that which is illegal. Hence, we could see various classes of ID's, such as (but not limited to): Gangbangers, Stick-up Men, Burglars, Car Thieves, Drug Pushers, etc.
BUT THEN, OF course, we'd be inviting the civil liberties types would take up arms against such regulations on the grounds that those being identified would be unfairly exposed to the general public in a highly negative manner. With this we would agree and are reminded that whereas any who are here without benefit of a legal status are breaking the law; even if in only a minor technical sense.
BUT OUR MAYOR must also remember that any public official who violates Federal Law is subject to prosecution. And if the Mayor of Chicago doesn't think that this can happen, we offer in evidence the following local names; all were prosecuted by the G Men for various violations of Federal Law. They are: Governors Otto Kerner, George Ryan & Rod Blagevich; Congressmen Dan Rostenkowski & Jesse Jackson, Jr.; also more aldermen than we can remember.
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John T. “Red” Ryan is a retired Chicago police officer and Garfield Ridge resident.