Welcome to 2015, with the usual hopes for new beginnings and fresh starts. Along with that, there is the expected flood of new laws going into effect all across the nation as proof of the various legislative bodies getting the work of the people done. The people of California in particular will see the fruits of their elected officials’ labors if they show up at the DMV. (As if the lines weren’t long enough already.) Millions of illegal immigrants will now be able to show up without fear of arrest or deportation and get themselves a shiny new driver’s license.
The Department of Motor Vehicles expects big crowds on Friday, the first day undocumented immigrants in California can officially apply for a driver’s license.
The DMV has hired more than 1,000 workers and opened four new centers to handle the rush.
The new law allows undocumented immigrants to apply without the fear of being deported, which has long been a concern in the community.
The DMV expects nearly 1.5 million undocumented immigrants to apply over the next few years.
If you needed any further proof of exactly how far the immigration situation in the country has deteriorated, California has joined several other states in completely throwing in the towel here. It’s long been established that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that privilege can be taken away for any of a number of offenses which include driving while impaired, failing to obtain proper registration, inspection and insurance documents or just running too many stop signs. But not, it seems, for violating the nation’s borders, entering illegally, failing to pay taxes or the rest of the fundamental rules under our system of laws which are broken daily by illegal aliens.
There are some minor arguments in favor of of the plan, I admit. Foreign visitors don’t always know the rules of the road in America, so teaching them the proper driving practices might cut down slightly on accidents. But does that advantage come anywhere near overriding the obvious arguments against this? Also, in addition to legitimizing the activities of those who are not legitimate citizens, a piece of identification such as a license if a powerful talisman. True, these new, “special” licenses have a disclaimer on them which indicates that they are not valid as federal identification, but how many people will initially be trained to be aware of the distinction?
The excitement in the illegal community was on display as the media rushed out to interview the lucky new drivers.
“This is a privilege,” said Maribel Solache as she studied for her test.
Solache’s one of an estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in California who will now be eligible to get a driver’s license under the new law…
“I never get a ticket, I never been in an accident,” said Solache who admits to driving without a license to go to work and school.
For her getting a driver’s license means more than just being able to drive legally.
“I feel I will prove that I am not a criminal,” she said. “I consider myself an American.”
Oh, really? I may wake up tomorrow and feel that I’m a neurosurgeon but that doesn’t mean that the local hospital should allow me to start sawing open people’s skulls. You are still a criminal under the rule of law and you are not an American citizen. That’s supposed to mean something, but in California any remaining distinctions on that score have been essentially washed away by the state government.
Not everyone agrees with this plan, however.
“Their vehicles should be impounded and if they don’t like it they can go home,” said Don Rosenberg who started a website called Unlicensedtokill.org after his son was killed by an unlicensed and undocumented immigrant back in 2010.
“It’s not political,” said Rosenberg who points to undocumented immigrants involved in hit and run crashes, to claim that those who are here illegally come from countries in which drivers are known for unsafe practices.
Again, Rosenberg’s point is not without merit, but it really only serves to cloud the larger issue. Having crazy, reckless drivers on the road is a bad thing as we can all agree. But we already have plenty of dangerous drivers among the ranks of our citizens. I understand the pain of his loss and we definitely want to make the roads safer, but illegal aliens have far more compelling reasons to be denied a license (or any form of identification) than their inability to parallel park.
California has yanked yet another brick out from under the foundation of the house of law and order. Get back to us in a few years and let us know how that worked out for you.