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California driver's license law excites illegal immigrants
Associated Press | 09-20-03

Posted on 09/19/2003 9:36:40 PM PDT by Brian S

DEBORAH KONG Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Housepainter Carlos Ponce Rodriguez has been driving to work for three years without a license.

Rodriguez doesn't want to be a scofflaw. But because he lacks immigration papers, he can't get a license.

That could change under a new state law that could let an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants get drivers licenses.

Though it doesn't take effect until Jan. 1, the law has already generated excitement and opposition across the state. One recent morning, Rodriguez joined a line stretching down the block outside the Mexican consulate to apply for a consular ID, one identification document allowed under the new drivers-license law.

"I need a license to go to work," said Rodriguez, 23, who drove a taxi in Cancun before moving to Walnut Creek three years ago. "I think it is a good law because not only can one move places in a safer way, but one will also be able to get insurance, and that also brings more safety."

The San Francisco consulate where Rodriguez was waiting used to issue about 150 consular IDs a day. That number doubled the day after the law was signed two weeks ago, and the daily average is now about 250, said spokesman Bernardo Mendez. Other consulates in California reported similar increases.

Undocumented immigrants now take care to avoid police, said San Diego consulate spokesman Alberto Lozano, but with licenses, "they will be more confident driving through the freeways and in the city."

The effects of the new law are showing up elsewhere, too.

The GNC Driving School in Santa Ana, which serves many immigrants from Latin America and Asia, is getting about 25 calls a day from would-be students.

"After the law was signed, it's just been crazy," operator Ricardo Aguirre said.

About a dozen other states allow undocumented immigrants who are state residents to apply for driver's licenses, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

California's new law lets driver's license applicants submit federal taxpayer numbers instead of Social Security numbers. It also lifts a requirement that applicants prove they are legal residents and allows them to submit documents like the Mexican consular ID to verify their identity.

The new law has been both celebrated and criticized, a sign of how it cuts to the heart of the contentious national debate over immigration and the role of undocumented immigrants.

Proponents say letting them get driver's licenses is a matter of public safety. Licensed drivers know the rules of the road and can buy insurance, making the streets safer for everyone, said David Galaviz, legislative director to Democratic state Sen. Gilbert Cedillo, who introduced the bill.

It could also help law enforcement by expanding state data on who is driving, Galaviz said.

Critics say the law compromises national security. In a letter to Gov. Gray Davis, 20 members of the California Republican congressional delegation said the law "erodes our state's ability to protect against terrorist attacks."

Some have accused Davis, who twice vetoed earlier bills, of pandering to Hispanics as he fights to save his job. Chief rival Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes the law and has said he'd try to repeal it if elected governor.

A group called Save Our License is already working to collect signatures to overturn the law by placing a referendum on a ballot next March.

Illegal immigrants who are "breaking the law to be in the country" shouldn't be rewarded "with something that is a privilege, not a right in the United States," said Jeff Evans, a spokesman for the Republican-backed campaign.

Despite some uncertainty over the law's fate, many are still enthusiastic.

Driving could mean a less arduous morning commute for Patricia Barbosa, who cleans hotels in Napa. Barbosa, 22, usually takes a bus to work, but has trouble catching one for early shifts. Instead, she walks 40 minutes to get to work.

Julio Mendez, a 19-year-old construction worker from Napa, sees growing opportunities: "It will allow us to look for other jobs, to comply with the law."

---

Associated Press writer Maria-Belen Moran contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Mexico; US: California
KEYWORDS: illegalimmigration

1 posted on 09/19/2003 9:36:40 PM PDT by Brian S
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To: Brian S
What's good for illegals is good for...uh...hmmm...Somebody help me out here, because it's sure as hell not good for US!
2 posted on 09/19/2003 9:40:42 PM PDT by Captainpaintball
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To: Brian S
Rodriguez doesn't want to be a scofflaw. But because he lacks immigration papers, he can't get a license.

What absurd writing. He's as much of a scofflaw for being ILLEGAL as he is for driving without a license.

3 posted on 09/19/2003 9:41:49 PM PDT by South40 (Vote Mcclintock, elect bustamante)
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To: Brian S
Rodriguez doesn't want to be a scofflaw.

Then get the f&@# out.
4 posted on 09/19/2003 9:42:13 PM PDT by kenth
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To: Brian S
Rodriguez doesn't want to be a scofflaw...

Too late, Carlos. You are here illegally, you moron.

5 posted on 09/19/2003 9:43:09 PM PDT by bootyist-monk (Thunder makes all the noise; lightning gets the job done)
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To: Captainpaintball
Didn't you know? Liberals don't give a flying fig about American citizens!
6 posted on 09/19/2003 9:48:37 PM PDT by Arpege92
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To: Brian S
I can't wait until Clinton is out of office so we can tackle this illegal immigration mess.
7 posted on 09/19/2003 9:50:19 PM PDT by dagnabbit (Stop Bush from abolishing the USA. No Amnesty. No Matricula Card Acceptance.)
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To: dagnabbit
I can't wait until Clinton is out of office so we can tackle this illegal immigration mess.

Yes but, we need that Republican Congress before anything can be done... /sarcasm

8 posted on 09/19/2003 9:57:15 PM PDT by Brian S (Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem...RWReagan)
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To: Brian S
Rodriguez, 23, who drove a taxi in Cancun before moving to Walnut Creek three years ago.

Moving? Moving? Rodriguez didn't move he illegally crossed an International Border, the guy has no D/L and probably has no insurance to boot. The article makes it sound like he is Joe American "moving" from Cleveland to Chicago.

I've always wondered why the employers of these illegals are not sued when the illegal is involved in an un-insured accident. The employer is performing an illegal act by employing the illegals threfore putting motorists at risk.

9 posted on 09/19/2003 9:59:55 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Por La Raza Mierda.)
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To: Brian S
but one will also be able to get insurance, and that also brings more safety."

I seriously doubt that the Carlos's of California, when all is said and done, actually BUY insurance. Insurance in California is outrageously expensive. I wonder if Carlos will think of saving the money to buy other things ... not insurance, and leaving legal residents holding the bag.

10 posted on 09/19/2003 10:00:23 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I'm voting for Arnold. McClintock doesn't deserve my vote!)
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To: Brian S
More illegals will be driving. Statistically, an increase in the number of drivers will precipitate an increase in the occurence of accidents. One thing that will not increase at the same rate as the volume of drivers is the number of insurance policies.

(Increased claim$) divided by (Constant # of insurance policies) = (higher insurance premium$) paid by the rest of us. Another benefit of the bill bestowed upon us by Jackass Davis.

11 posted on 09/19/2003 10:18:33 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: Brian S
"Rodriguez doesn't want to be a scofflaw. But because he lacks immigration papers", he already is!

"Julio Mendez, a 19-year-old construction worker from Napa, sees growing opportunities: "It will allow us to look for other jobs, to comply with the law." " Julio currently does not comply with the law (imigration law); a piece of paper is going to change that? Laws haven't bothered Julio so far so what his big push?

12 posted on 09/19/2003 10:21:09 PM PDT by KingNo155
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To: Brian S
Proponents say letting them get driver's licenses is a matter of public safety

If I hear this line of reasoning one more time, I'm going to scream!! If this bill was about "public safety" then tell me why, oh why, does this bill also include provisions to allow illegal aliens to get California ID cards, too? For those who don't know what a California ID card is, it's an official state ID for those who can't or don't want to get a driver's license.

13 posted on 09/19/2003 10:22:57 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (End Judicial Activism Now!!)
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To: Enough is ENOUGH
I'm wondering if one of these illegals can claim to be a "truck driver" from the "homeland" and also obtain a CDL to drive one of the big rigs?
14 posted on 09/19/2003 10:23:57 PM PDT by Brian S (Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem...RWReagan)
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To: Brian S
"It will allow us to look for other jobs, to comply with the law."

Comply with the law? Why start now, Julio? You sure didn't comply when you came here in the first place!

Will insurance companies even pay out claims if an illegal is responsible for an accident?

15 posted on 09/19/2003 10:24:07 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (Moving to Turkmenistan, where all the jobs are.)
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To: Brian S
Sure, and I'll bet Swift would hire them for their 20 hour per day cross country runs.
16 posted on 09/19/2003 10:27:43 PM PDT by Enough is ENOUGH
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To: So Cal Rocket
For those who don't know what a California ID card is, it's an official state ID for those who can't or don't want to get a driver's license.

Unless they are totaly stupid, you and I both know that our foreign enemies must be sending their operatives south into Mexico to cross the border with the rest of the mexicans now rushing for their ID's.

So simple...to easy.

17 posted on 09/19/2003 10:28:41 PM PDT by Brian S (Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem...RWReagan)
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To: Brian S
How come I never see the real reason (other than Davis pandering) for this new law discussed in these articles. Not one word about motor voter and all the wonderful new democrats.
18 posted on 09/19/2003 10:46:40 PM PDT by SoCal_Republican
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To: Brian S
The solution to this mess is for all the other states to refuse to honor a California drivers license as valid. That means people in California can't drive in any other state. This would put some heat on the mess down there and get things going in the right direction. It is just time to start cutting California off from the rest of the nation until they do get there act together. Sorry for all in California who don't support all this crap, but your state cannot be allowed to run the rest of the nation a foul. This would be your chance to make a stink about your state government and get others to listen to you.
19 posted on 09/19/2003 11:25:39 PM PDT by Revel
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To: Brian S
Your One Stop Resource For All The California Recall News!

Want on our daily or major news ping lists? Freepmail DoctorZin

20 posted on 09/19/2003 11:35:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Brian S
The AP is a disgrace. Their attempt to present "both sides" of this outrageous, indefensible law is laughable. Booknote this trash under liberal claptrap. What a joke!!!
21 posted on 09/19/2003 11:41:36 PM PDT by SoCar (Huckabee's "Tax Me More Fund" needs to spread!)
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To: Brian S
Some have accused Davis, who twice vetoed earlier bills, of pandering to Hispanics as he fights to save his job.

Amazing in-depth analysis at work. Who are those some who have accused Davis of pandering?? Must be the VRWC!!! ROFLMAO if it wasn't so pathetic!!

22 posted on 09/19/2003 11:46:44 PM PDT by SoCar (Huckabee's "Tax Me More Fund" needs to spread!)
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To: Brian S
"I can't wait until Clinton is out of office so we can tackle this illegal immigration mess."-dagnabbit
"Yes but, we need that Republican Congress before anything can be done."-Brian S

You guys owe me a mouse pad for being the conservative Smothers Brothers.

"The solution to this mess is for all the other states to refuse to honor a California drivers license as valid."-Revel

Too right. Bills proposing such should be prepared everywhere immediately. This will make the remaining states more hesitant to sell its citizen's futures down the Rio Grande' for the sake of "hispandering".


23 posted on 09/20/2003 12:07:13 AM PDT by NewRomeTacitus (Mexico is warring against us. Our representatives must acknowlege and defend by law !)
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To: Brian S
Scene: I-5 in late summer 1994.

Cast: Various cars and trucks

Opening scene: poorman and I have the CB on in our rig as we travel south through the San Joaquin Valley.

CB: "*squeal* *interference* DID YOU SEE THAT? 2 Mexicans playing truck tag!"

Pan to roadside. Tomatoes are everywhere along an underpass and the highway shoulder.

Petuniasevan to poorman: "Turn up the CB!"

CB: *a stream of profanity in Spanish* followed by mixed Spanish and English demands that someone call the cops on the truck that sideswiped him. Catcalls and laughter.

Ahead: One open-hopper semi with a load of tomatoes on the side of the road. Angry Mexican driver out literally hopping mad.

On CB: Other Mexican driver in other truck, now several miles distant, offers foul insults and jeers to the driver he clipped.

Along road: More tomatoes not destined for the cannery.

On CB: Cop explaining that there's nothing he can do.

Cut to poorman shaking his head as we ride on down the highway. Poorman, only half in jest: "We might as well give this place back to Mexico."

Fade to black...


Were the drivers in question "legal"? I don't know. But this true story will see many repeats. You just wait.

24 posted on 09/20/2003 12:09:51 AM PDT by petuniasevan (Klingon redneck: Has bat'leth displayed prominently in rear window of his Battle Cruiser.)
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To: gubamyster; HiJinx
ping
25 posted on 09/20/2003 1:09:38 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Brian S
Our elected politicians and law enforcement officials dare to look us in the eye and say they are doing all that is humanly possible to make our borders secure and our country safe.

Liars, liars all. Not one in high places has the courage, or the want, to loudly proclaim once again, "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute."

Thanks to our weak and devious politicians, we are faced today with modern day Barbary pirates in the form of Mexico. The criminal leaders plying their illicit shake down trade from that corrupt cesspool of a country to the south now hold us all hostage. And we, the native born and legal immigrant citizens of America pay tens of billions of dollars annually in tribute.

I have lost all faith in those things I once accepted as a given and true. I know now it is all naught but a contemptible and damnable lie

I no longer believe in the rule of law and the concept of justice for all. Politicians and their appointed political hack judges say what is, and what is not just. Justice is now only for some, ILLEGAL immigrant nationals actively commiting criminal acts that the pols need to manipulate for their votes. Think of any other illegal immigrant's nationality, be it Haitian, Irish, Russian, Chinese, other than Mexican. See then how fast the full weight of the so called equal law and justice is comparatively brought to bear on those unfortunate souls.

The rule of law in our country is an official sham, laws are only for some to obey, while other criminals are sanctioned and encouraged by government officials as OK to thumb their nose at those same laws.

Thanks to these corrupted ba$tards our once sacred vote on a ballot is now naught more meaningful than a piece of @$$ wipe paper. Illegal criminals are encouraged by government officials, churches, private businesses, public organizations and high profile celebrities and individuals to not only invade our homeland. But with a wink and a nod by the government these same criminals (with no more than a phony card issued by the other criminals in Mexico City) are given a state driver's license, the only I.D. required at the polling place in many states. Thereby undermining the very bedrock of our constitutional frame work, that only American citizens have the right to vote.

These invading criminal aliens, aided by corrupt law makers, corrupt courts, and corrupt people, are dooming us all to a worse hell than that which the criminals claim to flee from.
26 posted on 09/20/2003 1:52:20 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Captainpaintball
What in the hell are they smoking?

Citizens For A Freer America
&
The Upper Valley Free Press

Daryl L. Hunter - Editor

27 posted on 09/20/2003 8:22:12 AM PDT by Daryl L.Hunter
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To: Revel
Sorry for all in California who don't support all this crap, but your state cannot be allowed to run the rest of the nation a foul.

I'm one Californian who agrees with you. I'll gladly put up with the inconvenience. I personally hope that airlines start refusing to accept California driver's licenses and demand passports for all flights, even domestic ones! It takes a lot to wake up Californians, but if they are majorly inconvenienced, unable to fly or rent a car in another state, and have to scramble to apply for passports, just because of the illegals, they will be TICKED OFF and might finally wake up and perhaps fight this madness.

28 posted on 09/20/2003 8:48:41 AM PDT by Nea Wood
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To: Revel
The solution to this mess is for all the other states to refuse to honor a California drivers license as valid.

According to the following source, no can do. How many congressmen do you think would be willing to change the federal law? (My guess is maybe 3 of 'em.)

[Driver's License] Trojan Horse
By Steve Brown and Chris Coon
September 16, 2003

Under federal law all 50 states must honor any DL issued in any other state.

29 posted on 09/20/2003 9:12:24 AM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: Brian S
None of these articles states whether or not these licenses make clear that the holder is not a U.S. citizen. If these licenses are identical to the ones issued to regular Californians then they amount to granting U.S. citizenship, not just in California but nationwide. Just about the only thing they don't easily open up is Social Security, and no doubt we'll soon see a campaign for granting Social Security rights to illegals in the name of fairness and "helping the economy".
30 posted on 09/20/2003 9:15:54 AM PDT by jordan8
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To: DumpsterDiver
Bump!
31 posted on 09/20/2003 10:12:55 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Brian S
To keep this most important issue front and center, another unabashed bump!
32 posted on 09/20/2003 10:14:08 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: DumpsterDiver
Wonderful. I did not know so many states were involved in this either. If there still is a majority of US citizens with an ounce of common sense then they had better find a leader to get people together and get these laws changed. Otherwise we might as well just stop calling ourselves a country at all. We can expect chaos to reign.
33 posted on 09/20/2003 5:28:50 PM PDT by Revel
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Captainpaintball
The recently passed law enabling illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license in California goes into effect on January 1st, 2004. However, there is an effort to collect signatures that would call for a referendum of the law to be put on an election ballot for the residents of California to decide by a vote whether they want the law or not. In order for the referendum to be put on the ballot though, they must collect more than 373, 000 signatures of registered voters who oppose the law and turn them into the state by December 7th.
Since 1996, most states have required applicants to produce evidence of their legal status before they could obtain a driver's license. However. with the implementation of the Homeland Security Act, immigrants are no longer able to even renew their licenses without a green card, or some other paperwork from the BCIS.
The problem that we face here, is that everyone will be hit even harder in their pocketbooks with the prospect of thousands upon thousands of illegals driving without licenses or insurance. As many are already aware, the current insurance situation in the United States is out of control.
The vast majority of illegals couldn't care much about politics, one way or the other, unless it affects them directly. Since there is no track record of them attempting voter fraud why should they begin now? The stories of voter fraud that have made it to the news, primarily, have been about Americans trying to vote more than once. The illegal immigrant workforce contributes to the economy by way of taxes, menial jobs (that no American wants to do), and in some instances, create jobs for everyone, including Americans .
Don't let shortsightedness get in the way of the big picture... it's all about money!

35 posted on 10/26/2003 4:29:26 PM PST by pepsigal9
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To: pepsigal9
Even if what you say is true, and I have thought that for some time, (with money and apathy) illegals are changing (for the worse) redistricting. Which favors democrats of course. NewsMax.com has a good story on their website now.

But give them time, and they will become more politically active, and eventually "motor voted" to polling places like blacks in the cities, and we will have Americanized Mexicans. The wrong kind of Americanization, (dependent on--and hopelessly addicted to--government services) but Americanization nonetheless.

36 posted on 10/26/2003 8:30:40 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: Brian S
I read a few of the comments about illegal immigrants and it gives me the impression that not all the people who come and write those kinds of messages are aware of the situation. It makes me really upset that a lot of people in this country are selfish. People in this country have a lot of opportunities if you know how to take advantage of them. If you don't want to you are not going to do it, but people like that always tried to blame other people, in this case immigrants. They always say “Illegal immigrants come and take our jobs away”, that’s not true, because if you want to work you are going to find a job, but if you don’t want to work you are going to blame them.

In regards to the driver’s license for illegal immigrants in California, in my personal opinion is for security purposes, for them and for all the people who drive. People has to realize that in case of an accident with someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license and no insurance, it’s going to be more difficult to get someone to pay for the damages. You are giving them the right to know the laws of the road, the right to have insurance in case of an accident. Giving licenses doesn’t mean that they are getting a residency or a work permit or some other benefits. People who is legally in this country with a green card has the same driver’s license as a US citizen, it’s a form of identification. I don’t think many people are aware of the reality of the situation; it’s just talk talk without even knowing. How familiar are you guys with this situation? Do you know someone in this situation? Is this affecting you directly? You can’t get a social security number with a driver’s license, there is more to that, you have to show proof you are a citizen, a birth certificate for example. Everything I wrote is just my personal opinion.
37 posted on 11/11/2003 12:15:13 PM PST by Rebecca22
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