Saturday, March 05, 2005

Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens: Wrong, Dangerous and A Political Loser

from FAIR

(Los Angeles, March 4, 2005) To the list of compelling reasons to oppose the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, add one more: It is a political loser. A new poll conducted by the Field Research Company, finds that 62 percent of California voters are opposed to granting illegal aliens these state-issued identity documents and that opposition cuts across party lines. Advocates for illegal aliens have made the driver’s license issue a political priority in California and other states, seeing it as a means of creating a de facto amnesty by granting illegal aliens the same identity documents that citizens and legal immigrants carry.

“There is nothing particularly startling about the findings of the Field Poll – the idea of granting official government identity documents to people who have no right even to be in the country seems absurd to most Americans,” observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “The results are eye-opening only in so far as they illustrate how wildly out of step the California legislature is with the vast majority to state residents. The findings also reinforce the soundness of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto a bill last year that would have granted licenses to illegal aliens, and should encourage him to veto another such bill if one is sent to him this year.”

In addition to the vast majority of voters in California (and presumably other states), the blue ribbon commission that investigated the 9/11 disaster has also concluded that granting official identity documents to illegal aliens represents a serious threat to the homeland security of the United States. The commission noted that obtaining state-issued driver’s licenses was essential to the plans of the 19 terrorists who murdered some 3,000 people. Moreover, legislation that was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in February, and is now pending before the Senate, would bar the use of driver’s licenses for federal identification purposes if that state issues them to illegal aliens.

“We have heard a steady drum beat from the advocates for illegal aliens that opposing benefits and privileges for illegal residents is politically risky,” Stein said. “This poll, along with recent political history, proves that the precisely the opposite is true. The last governor of California who succumbed to this sort of political pressure was soundly defeated in a historic recall election just weeks after affixing his signature to such legislation. More recently, voters in Arizona made it overwhelmingly clear that they are opposed to benefits of any kind being made available to illegal aliens when they approved Proposition 200 over the objections of the leadership of both political parties.”

FAIR strongly urges the U.S. Senate to pass the REAL ID Act, already approved by the House, that would establish national standards for driver’s license issuance. President Bush has already stated that he will sign the bill. “The Senate should quickly adopt this legislation because it is vital to homeland security. If that’s not enough, the Field Poll indicates that it is also good politics,” concluded Stein.
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