MORE

L.A. May Turn Library Cards Into IDs, Bank Cards for Illegal Immigrants

Your photo here.EXPAND
Your photo here.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's dream of granting special drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants -- which would largely clear up the impound debate, by giving illegals a fighting chance of making it through the DUI checkpoints alive -- still has a few hearts to win over in the Legislature. And although some licenses should apparently be issued under Obama's new half-amnesty, the DMV is pretty confused about how it's supposed to handle the paperwork.

So L.A. City Hall has been forced to hatch an extra-creative solution, in the meantime:

About three weeks ago, City Councilman Richard Alarcon proposed that the L.A. Public Library system begin issuing "City Services Cards" to anyone who can prove city residency, but not necessarily U.S. citizenship. (And although his press release doesn't specifically mention the illegals, we all know they're the benefactors here.)

Like drivers licenses, the cards would include photos for facial recognition, and thus would serve as a rudimentary form of ID.

But principally, they'll allow their holders "safe access to banking services such as direct deposit, international or domestic money transfers, and would also act as a debit card," according to Alarcon. Here's how that would work, via the Los Angeles Times:

Applicants would pay a fee, around $15 to $20, for the card, and then would be able to deposit and withdraw money through a network of ATMs at local grocery stores and shopping malls. There could also be a monthly fee of up to $2.99.

Of course, since it's 9/11, and because Arizona nation can't seem to talk immigration without equating it to terrorism, an opponent with fiercely anti-immigrant group FAIR tells the Times that the library cards "can easily be exploited by terrorists and criminals."

Alarcon insists, instead, that their sole purpose is to protect the 300,000 city residents without bank accounts (which is, coincidentally, also the approximate population of illegal immigrants in L.A.) from "predatory lenders."

We can almost hear the GET CASH NOW sharks thrashing from here.

But we know the real reason behind this polarized IDs-for-immigrants hoopla. Get people back into our terribly neglected, possibly bed-bug-infested library system! Indeed -- these all-purpose cards, says Alarcon, "would help increase the use of Los Angeles' public libraries by beginning to transform libraries into financial literacy centers."

So everybody wins. Besides them loan sharks. And them paranoid terrorism nuts, of course. Here, guys, here's something you should actually get mad about: "The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings."

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]