Saturday, March 02, 2013

Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

So far, some eight states have approved allowing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants (Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, Illinois, and of course, California). Kentucky is trying to become number nine. Democratic legislators have introduced House Bill 396 which would allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to apply for a driver's permit (either given in their native language or with a translator they provide), and if they successfully pass the written portion (also given in either their native language or with the help of a personally provided translator) and then go on to pass the driving portion (with someone in the car with the driver to, again, "translate"); a privilege now afforded only to legal residents of the US and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Gone would be another legal barrier to follow existing, but often ignored or unenforced state and federal laws; thus blurring the distinction between legal and illegal residency.

Currently, most illegal immigrants are flocking to Washington, Utah, and New Mexico, which have become meccas for fraudulent document brokers, human smugglers, and other criminal elements. While Maryland is considered allowing illegal aliens the opportunity to obtain a driver's license, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has expressed deep concern over granting legitimacy to individuals who are in violation of US laws, has indicted that she will begin taking steps to revoke the 2003 state laws. Meanwhile, states which has enacted tougher laws in general against illegal immigrants, have seen substantial drops in applications, along with an exodus of individuals thought to be in the state illegally. With this, there has also been drops in applications for taxpayer based programs. The result being considerable savings to taxpayers. Meanwhile, other states, such North Carolina, which originally considered allowing driver's licenses being issued, have now reversed direction, and will require proof of residency in the future. Their license currently includes a pink stripe to indicates the holder's may not use the license as a valid form of identification.

In most states, including Kentucky, all drivers are required to obtain and keep current auto insurance. In Illinois, a state which mandates auto insurance for instance, there are approximately 250,000 illegal immigrants currently on the road. There is an estimated 80,000 accidents caused by uninsured illegal immigrants, resulting in $660 million dollars in damage according to the Highway Safety Coalition as reported in a article in Yahoo! News dated January 27, 2013. According to a Los Angeles Times article dated January 16, 2013 by Ben Poston, illegal immigrants are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident according to a report by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. California has the highest number of illegal immigrants. This, of course, begs the question: how will states enforce their mandatory insurance laws given the nature of driver's illegal, and often transitory status as well as language barriers since many illegal immigrants refuse to learn English? The result will likely lead to higher insurance rates for drivers in general as costs are merely passed along to cover the damaged caused by uninsured drivers.

Then there is the nature of the drivers license itself. Most states (and even the federal government) accepts driver's licenses as legal identification cards. This in itself allows the holder to easier access to renting apartments, obtaining jobs by providing proof of identity on I-9 forms, applying for grants and taxpayer based services, opening banking and savings accounts, cashing checks, buying guns or airplane tickets, renting cars, entering secure buildings such as court houses, obtaining prescriptions, and much more. In short, the line becomes blurred between legal and illegal status. So, who are some of those pushing for the "all-but-legal" status of illegal immigrants?

Well, to be sure, most are liberals and mostly Democrat. However, many are also religious groups. In Connecticut for instance, the leading group is Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut ("CONECT"), which is allegedly comprised of some 200 activists and based in New Haven. In Kentucky, it's Kentucky Jobs with Justice located in Louisville and the Kentucky Council of Churches, which is in Lexington and, of course, the Kentucky ACLU.

Kentucky residents opposed to House Bill 396, are encouraged to call the toll free number 1-800-372-7181 to voice their disapproval. They are also strongly encouraged to click onto the House Bill link below to go to the home pages of the bill's sponsors to register their disapproval. However, Kentucky residents are urged to do so quickly before the bill moves on.

Can Illegal Immigrants Get Auto Insurance?

Should Illegal Immigrants be able to obtain a Driver's License in the US?

Pink Strip of NC driver's license for illegal immigrants

2013 Kentucky House Bill 396


jamie sanchez said...

First of all I am pretty sure you have not even read hb396. It clearly states that it is NOT a drivers license it is a certificate. Second, it will say on the face NOT TO BE USED AS IDENTIFICATION. Third, residency of 3 years will have to be proved. Forth, undocumented immigrants can get insurance at an extremly higher rate that they pay not us. Fifth, this certificate WILL NOT be valid in any other state except for KY. Please stop spreading false uneducated information. I notice you didn't bother posting the link to the actual bill but yet you posted links to irrelevant nonsense.

Another Opinion said...

Thank you for taking time to comment. Actually, you would be wrong. I did read it. I also compared it so other similar pieces of legislation from other states, and spoke with several House members of both parties about it.

They are in fact considered a driver's license. Changing the name does not change its intent. As one legislator told me, the aim was to "soften" the language to avoid angry Kentuckians.

Most licenses (or "certificates" if you prefer) issued for illegal immigrants in other states are only vaid in those states. North Carolina, however, has a red border at the top, although they are considering revolking the licences altogether. These are designed to allow those in this country illegally some sense of legality to drive on Kentucky roads. I will be very interested to see how this will impact existing laws regarding manditory auto insurance, if at all.

There is nothing not factual in the article. Each step, however incremental, is an attempt to provide defacto amnesty, which most the overwhelming majority of Americans strongly oppose.

Anonymous said...

Why are we even discussing this issue. We have Federal Laws regarding Illegal immigrants. It is Illegal to enter our Country without going through Legal means. Illegals are draining tax payer based programs which they have not paid into. I know the response that is coming (they do pay taxes). Really, if they are working and paying taxes who's ssn are they stealing causing financial nightmares for the person who's ssn was stolen. Enforce our immigration laws, Illegal Immigrants are eroding the quality of life in this country. I live in California. The cities that my family members grew up in are now Latino Gang lands. Trash litters streets that were once clean. Where there was once home after home with well cared for lawns with green grass there is now home after home with nothing but dirt in both the front and back yards. Home invasions are rampant, when the suspects are caught guess the ethnicity-Latino. I'm not racist, While I'am white I do have a Hispanic wife. I'm just telling it the way it is. Culture Clash. Hispanics, particularly Mexicans just don't have the same cultural values that most Americans are taught from a very young age. I could continue for hours. Please be aware that Hipanics do not care a bit about diversity. This is a term that is being crammed down our necks. Hispanics want to Dominate not blend in as part of a community. Notice the explosion of the hispanic community in every state of this country. Once they get a strong foothold in a community they change from being polite and docile and instead become aggressive and demand social services of every kind. In California you can hardly find a Latino women who is not Pregnant, I'm not kidding. Like I said tax payer based services. People of Kentucky, you have a beautiful state. Please do not be naive to the ills of Illegal Immigration. They will slowly suck the life blood from your beautiful state. I can only hope the people of Kentucky will not ignore what could lead to the states demise, best of luck.

Another Opinion said...

Thank you Anon for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Don't need SSN . ITIN numbers are given to make taxes. Do you' r research

Another Opinion said...

Thanks for stopping by Anon. Actually, we did do an indepth search as well as interviewed some officals about their policies. Most states require a SSN, which is either used on your driver's license or is accepted as proof of identity and a seperate number is assigned. Some states are using tax ID numbers as proof in lieu of a SSN (which tends to be what immigrants who are not legible for a SSN use) and color coding the license. For further information, you can check out: The point of article is the fradulent use of social security numbers and whether a driver's license should be issued regardless of what ID tis presented short of proof of legal residency or citzenship. Additionally, the article dealt with the insurance requirements of most states and whether those here illegally could or would qualify for manditory auto insurance.

Another Opinion said...

BTW, if you're seriously interested, here's another site you can explore:

Anonymous said...

Yes we pay taxes and all the diferent fees that we need to pay, besides that what is safer? Have someone on the road with not license or insurance? Or some one that can at leas have the proper documents so they can go on vacations.

Anonymous said...

Many people do not take vacations because they are afraid to dryve far wit no permit or license, so intead the send that money to their contries wen tha money can be spent here.