Skip to comments.Backdoor license plan (CA: Bill would protect illegal immigrant drivers' cars from impound lot)
Posted on 05/06/2005 6:34:37 AM PDT by JesseJane
Friday, May 06, 2005 - SACRAMENTO -- Stymied in his efforts to allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, has found a backdoor way around the ban with a proposal that would exempt undocumented motorists from vehicle-impound laws.
Under current law, for 30 days police can impound the vehicle of a motorist caught driving without a valid license. Cedillo's bill would exempt those who don't have a license simply because they are not legal U.S. residents.
Cedillo said law enforcement resources should be dedicated to going after serious driving offenses such as drunk driving, not licensing violations by undocumented immigrants.
"That's what the money should be spent for, not towing people's cars who are taking their citizen kids to school, church or the supermarket," Cedillo said in an interview. "It's just a bad policy and it doesn't make sense."
Unlike his measure that would make illegal immigrants eligible for licenses, which was repealed under pressure from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cedillo has pushed for his new bill quietly.
In fact, one of the strongest opponents to Cedillo's driver's-license measure, Mike Spence, president of the conservative group California Republican Assembly, was unaware of the latest bill until contacted by the Daily News.
Spence said the bill appears to apply a "double standard" because legal residents whose licenses were suspended or revoked still would be punished.
"If you're a citizen and you break one law, your car will be impounded for 30 days. If you're already breaking another law and you break this law, you get away with it free. It's a 'Get-your-car-out-of-impound-free card' for illegal aliens, and it's wrong."
Cedillo's bill, SB 591, is on hold, pending developments at the federal level, where lawmakers are working on a bill to establish a national identification system.
The federal bill would prohibit illegal aliens from obtaining the standard license, but would allow states to provide separate license documents allowing illegal immigrants to drive. If it passes, Cedillo said, his bill might not be necessary, depending on how California reacts.
Los Angeles police officers say the ability to impound vehicles is a useful tool for law enforcement. Lt. Steven Allen of the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division said the law helps discourage unlicensed, uninsured drivers by making it more expensive.
"I probably get more complaints about this very issue from people who are involved in traffic accidents than any other issue," Allen said. "(They say) here I am in this country legally and I have a driver's license and I get rear-ended by someone who has no license, who is here illegally and has no insurance. How am I ever going to get money for the damage to my car?"
Valley Traffic runs operations several times a month, targeting areas where there are frequent hit-and-runs to check for driver's licenses and registrations. The operations usually result in anywhere from 80 to 120 impounds each time.
Allen said there is no reason to drive without a license because police are required to recognize valid licenses from other countries, so those who are here illegally should at least maintain a legal license from their native country.
Congress is expected by next week to pass the national license law, called the Real ID act.
The act also makes it more difficult to seek asylum in the U.S. and waives environmental regulations to speed up the completion of a three-mile section of fence between California and Mexico near San Diego.
The immigration provisions are part of an $82 billion emergency spending bill for tsunami relief and U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, an early supporter of the immigration provisions, hailed them as a key part of ensuring national security. He specifically blasted environmental groups that have fought completion of the border fence.
"In the name of the environment, the environment has been plundered," he said, holding up posters showing the garbage-strewn area of uncompleted fence.
Southern California Republicans are expected to unanimously vote in favor of the bill. Democrats are divided.
Opponents say it is unlikely that illegal immigrants would opt to receive a license that essentially identifies them as illegal. Advocates say protecting driver's licenses will disrupt terrorist travel and ensure that states know who is receiving official identification.
Reps. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, and Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, both have said that despite their opposition to the immigration provisions, they will support the bill because it funds equipment and other services for U.S. troops.
Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, has said she will oppose it.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, said he will vote in favor of the bill.
"I don't think the immigration provisions belong in the bill," Schiff said, adding, "Given the equipment shortages we're seeing in Iraq, I don't think we can draw the supplemental (funding) out any further."
Staff Writer Lisa Friedman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.
Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 firstname.lastname@example.org
So with the encouragement of the U.S. government and with the financial support of major U.S. corporations and foundations, LULAC, MALDEF, MEChA/MEXA, and La Raza, pillars of the radical ''Hispanic'' lobby, successfully and aggressively promote hatred of the history, identity, culture, language, and laws of the United States.
STOP THE RADICAL ANTI-AMERICAN LOBBIES!
~for your ping list~
Exactly. Always has. Grrrrrrrrrrr....
Hmmm...a little slap-happy with the keyword list, eh, JJ?
I can see this as a good thing...gracious knows, those poor illegals certainly can't afford a $300 impound redemption fee...not with the $20 Billion they're sending home to the family! /sarcasm
Just doing a little cut and paste there.. :) ~
My, my. Tell me again why I should be law abiding?
I suppose that, being a U.S. citizen, I should realize that I'm inferior to illegal immigrants. How foolish of me to forget my place.
If you find out, let me know!! /s :)
Just the usual neo-lib rant. They hate America. Can't wait for them to tell me how patriotic the backers of this law are.
A liberal race baiter is someone who has not yet been rear-ended by an illegal alien driving without insurance on a license with a bogus address.
PS:I've watched cars go into 30 day impound, the drivers seldom bother to bail them out, just going on to buy another...but the auction does put money in the treasury and some nice oldies can be found.
This is nothing new to people of California. This guy needs to go...
The Feds aren't any better. Did you notice this?
The federal bill would prohibit illegal aliens from obtaining the standard license, but would allow states to provide separate license documents allowing illegal immigrants to drive.
How is that NOT pandering to illegal aliens and making their illegal status something to overlook. It highlights, yet again, the crap they are allowing illegals to get away with. It's just one more damn case of not enforcing immigration law and rewarding illegal aliens.
Outrageous! This is America, not the flop house of the Latino world and the 3rd world.
The chutzpah of it all, to try and get a special exemption for illegal aliens (read Mexicans). How about if the illegal alien is stinking drunk? Can we then impound his car? And deport him?
Here's another bill for Arnold to veto.
DD, I feel, it began at the state level with giving freebies to illegals, and forcing us to educate them for free. It is the corruption and pandering at the state level that allowed this problem to spiral out of control. And yes, I agree with you that the feds are AS responsible, since Clinton allowed the cap on illegals to essentially be erased. Though the problem started before Clinton, the dem party needed votes, so they opened the floodgates.
DD, I feel, it began at the state level with giving freebies to illegals, and forcing us to educate them for free. It is the corruption and pandering at the state level that allowed this problem to spiral out of control.
Illegal immigration into California started trickling in starting in the mid-'60s. The Mexicans advertised themselves as the cheapest whores on the block and this appealed to some (greedy) owners of small businesses. Gradually, other businesses had to either go along with this hiring of illegals or close up shop because they couldn't compete with the people who were breaking the law.
As this trend continued, more illegals came and they began bringing their families with them. As their numbers increased, there were more kids to educate and provide healthcare for. As more and more "social programs" kicked in, so did the expense to the taxpayer, both at the state level and at the federal level.
After seeing that the immigration laws weren't going to be enforced, large corporations picked up the pace and also began hiring illegal aliens (meat processing is one example). Since then, the growth has been exponential. More illegals, more anchor babies, more Americans being pushed out of jobs, higher taxes, crowded schools, an overwhelmed healthcare system, etc.
And yes, I agree with you that the feds are AS responsible, since Clinton allowed the cap on illegals to essentially be erased. Though the problem started before Clinton, the dem party needed votes, so they opened the floodgates.
This has been the fault of every Administration since the 1960s and it's taken us to where we are today. Do we enforce immigration laws? No. Our elected officials actually spend their time (and our money) sitting around discussing the best way to smooch the behinds of illegal aliens, because God forbid we do anything that might upset them!
It's disgusting. It's repugnant. And I am fed up with it.
This is insanity.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.