Driving While Illegal

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs.

So much for the rule of law. This has been making the local news the last few days:
Spitzer stands by immigrant driver's license plan
ALBANY - Defending his plan to give driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, Gov. Eliot Spitzer accused Republican critics yesterday of using "extremist rhetoric" to capitalize on still raw emotions surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Spitzer, a Democrat, vowed to push forward with allowing license applicants to substitute a valid foreign passport and other records for the required Social Security card. Such documents are difficult to forge and will be scrutinized in a process taking up to six weeks, he said.

Doesn't "undocumented" imply that these people wouldn't have any valid documents to present in order to get a driver's license? And if perchance these "undocumented immigrants" happen to have documents that indicate that they entered the country illegally will they be returned home or is the New York DMV supposed to take an oops-we-didn't-see-that approach? Just how is it the moral thing to do (as some have been suggesting) to extend a privilege previously reserved for citizens and legal residents to those who enter the country illegally?

Back in the day before I became a naturalized citizen I had to prove that I was a legal resident before I could get a learner's permit. I had to gather several documents to prove I was indeed the person I claimed to and that I as of an immigration status that qualified me for the privilege of driving. That was and is as it should be. Now it looks like New York wants to move to a we'll-take-whatever-you've-got system. Great!

This article, Giving immigrants licenses may help security, written by an immigration lawyer, describes the process by which "unauthorized immigrants", what some people call illegal aliens, would be able to get a driver's license under the Governor's new plan. She makes it sound so reasonable, except for the fact that she is discussing ILLEGAL immigrants. As in they aren't supposed to be in the country in the first place. Enforcing the law helps security not enabling people in breaking it.

I do agree with Governor Spitzer about one aspect of this issue. The Republican response to the Governor's plan has been over the top bordering on irrational and irresponsible. There are better ways to oppose Governor Spitzer's plan than to essentially go around screaming that he would be letting the terrorists have free reign in the state. State Republicans would do well to remember the story of the boy who cried wolf when it comes to claiming that some new policy will let the terrorists in.


  1. DisgustedUpstateNYerOctober 06, 2007 4:08 PM

    Mad? Go to wgy.com. Under "on air" click on Al Roney. On the right hand side he has info on this--and a link to a forum that a listener started. They are talking about a rally in Albany on 10/22. If you are interested, join the discussion. If you can't make it, spread the word.


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