Guest Column: Driving certificates for illegal aliens?

State Rep. Dan Brady of the Bloomington, Ill., area says they are having a terrible problem with illegals driving without insurance and having a lot of hit-and-run accidents. They apparently need to have more roadside safety checks. For decades, we U.S. citizens have come to expect them, and we know that we must have our driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance in the vehicle.

The proponents of H.B. 1100, which would create driving certificates for illegal aliens, say those people are already here, in spite of everything, and since local law authorities don’t have the jurisdiction to arrest illegals just for being illegal, we have to do something, anything to make our roads safer.

This concept is flawed on its face. Our local law enforcement would indeed have the authority to arrest illegals if a percentage of our officers were sent for federal 287g training by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to recognize fraudulent documents and function as an official arm of ICE. That’s all there is to it! Then, they could enforce the law and wouldn’t have any excuse like “our hands are tied.”

One has to wonder who is pushing and providing information to the proponents of this bill. State Rep. Dave Winters says there are statistics from other states that show driving certificates have reduced the number of uninsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents. Oh, really? The state of Tennessee tried it for 18 months and discontinued it because the problems with illegal aliens and fraud skyrocketed. There’s likely much more to the story than the statistics that were presented to Dave. Let the public see that presentation, and see what we think! Who prepared that presentation?

These certificates would be issued even before an insurance policy is issued! Think of how stringent your insurance company is. They want extensive driving history, job history, credit history and (not the least of which) residence history—and what illegal alien can claim residence in the USA? Most insurance companies require a Social Security number, but do they actually verify them? According to this new proposed law, illegal aliens could drive for 30 days before they have to get insurance, and even if they never get it! They would pay $60 for their certificates, but that wouldn’t cover the cost of administering the program. It would be a further drain of tax dollars!

These certificates would be issued based on what? The illegal alien presents an ID that can’t actually be verified. The most bogus is the matricular consular card, which is not even accepted in the states of Mexico, yet every free service agency in Illinois must accept it. Our government doesn’t even know how many of those cards exist, or to whom they were issued. Illegal aliens could have several cards with different names and the same photo.

Meanwhile, all U.S. citizen drivers must have a valid driver’s license (not just some “certificate”) and must be able to read, not just know the shapes of the signs! U.S. citizens are guaranteed “equal protection of the laws” by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but this law would give to people who shouldn’t even be here—not equal, but SUPERIOR “protection of the laws.” That’s un-American.

This plan is much more than a slap in the face, and I can’t describe my disgust without using words that can’t be printed. If this becomes law, it will aid and abet illegal aliens, and thus become the worst betrayal yet by our legislature.

Amazingly, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police endorsed this plan, violating their own Code of Ethics!

Please, tell your state senators to vote against this bill! It passed in the House because of the Democrats’ control. Most of them just lay out the red carpet for illegal aliens, which especially hurts our seniors and veterans. I applaud any Democrat who wants this nation’s immigration laws to be enforced, and I shame any Republican who doesn’t. Reps. Winters and Jefferson voted for it. Reps. Sacia and Wait voted against it.

We should direct our elected officials in state, county and municipal governments to pass laws mandating 287g training for a percentage of law enforcement officers from every agency. We should not capitulate and appease illegal aliens by offering them driving certificates!

E.J. Pagel is a member of the Illinois Minutemen, and is also media secretary for the Rockford Area Libertarians.

from the May 2-8, 2007, issue

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