Skip to comments.Lawmakers back bill on alien licenses
Posted on 12/17/2002 11:19:19 PM PST by kattracksEdited on 07/12/2004 3:59:42 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Republican lawmakers in Virginia say they will back legislation at the upcoming General Assembly session that would require noncitizens who apply for driver's licenses to prove they are in the country legally.
The reaction followed a statement from Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, who said this week he would seek such legislation because seven of the 19 September 11 hijackers had illegally obtained driver's licenses issued in Virginia.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
With ''veto-proof'' majority, state abortion foes optimistic
By LOUIS HANSEN, The Virginian-Pilot
© January 22, 2003
Last updated: 12:44 AM
| ABORTION-RELATED BILLS
At least two dozen bills related to abortion have been offered by the General Assembly. Here are some prominent abortion-related measures.
Supported by abortion opponents:
SB1124: Requires a physician to obtain written consent from a parent before performing an abortion on a girl under the age of 18. Expands on a law passed in 1996 requiring parental notification, with exceptions for cases of abuse.
SB1205: Bans the so-called ``partial-birth abortion'' procedure, and redefines ``live birth'' to an earlier period in pregnancy.
HB2367: Requires abortion clinics to comply with more costly and strict requirements on building size. Opponents say no clinics in the state would meet the proposed requirements. A House panel on Tuesday approved the measure.
Supported by pro-choice advocates:
SB1104: States that contraception will not be governed by the same rules as abortion. The bill would protect contraceptives from the restrictions placed on abortion.
Enter the numbers above in the Bill Tracker to read the bills and follow their progress.
The addition of two conservatives to the state Senate this winter might give the General Assembly a veto-proof majority in favor of establishing new abortion restrictions.
Longtime activists on both sides of the debate say it is all but assured that the General Assembly will pass laws requiring physicians to obtain parental consent before ending the pregnancies of minors, outlawing so-called partial-birth abortions, and requiring abortion clinics to adhere to expensive structural standards.
``I think it is a breakthrough year not just in Virginia but across the nation,'' said Anne B. Kincaid, a state anti-abortion lobbyist for 15 years. ``The truth is prevailing.''
Bennet Greenberg, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, an abortion-rights organization, seemed pessimistic.
``They've been chipping away,'' he said. ``Pretty soon, the chips are going to become chunks.''
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, which made abortion legal.
Abortions have declined in Virginia and nationwide since 1996, according to The Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York. The nonprofit organization tracks sexual and reproductive health issues, and its studies have been accepted by advocates on both sides of the debate.
Guttmacher researchers believe the decline is due to the increased use of emergency contraception, such as the morning-after pill.
The number of abortions in Virginia peaked at 35,000 in 1981 and has since declined, according to the institute. About 28,000 abortions were performed in 2000, the last year of available data.
The decrease has not quieted the debate.
At least two dozen bills to limit access to abortion will be considered by the General Assembly this year. The most prominent and controversial include parental-consent requirements for minors and a ban on the so-called ``partial birth abortion.''
A ban on that procedure, in which a fetus is partly delivered, passed the General Assembly last year, only to be vetoed by Gov. Mark R. Warner. The House overrode the veto, but the Senate fell three short of the needed 27 votes.
The Senate may have the votes to topple a Warner veto this session, with anti-abortion Republican Sens. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II and James K. O'Brien Jr. replacing two moderate members. The third vote comes from Sen. Stephen H. Martin, R-Chesterfield, a socially conservative senator who was absent for last year's override ballot.
Kincaid said the General Assembly now is ``basically veto-proof.''
Sen. Stephen D. Newman, R-Lynchburg, the bill's patron, said he would like to see the governor sign the legislation.
``I hope we don't need an override,'' he said.
Warner has said he would consider a narrowly drawn partial-birth abortion ban that would provide an exemption for women whose health would be endangered by continuing a pregnancy.
A parental-consent bill was on the verge of passing last year, only to be scuttled on parliamentary maneuvers by then-Sen. Warren E. Barry, R-Fairfax, a social moderate who chaired a committee overseeing abortion legislation.
Barry left the Senate last year to take a job in the Warner administration. His chairmanship has been filled by a lawmaker who favors parental consent, Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., R-Winchester.
Warner has signaled that he might be unfriendly to a consent bill, saying ``Virginia does not need more restrictions'' on abortion.
Physicians now are required only to notify parents before performing abortions on minors.
Sixteen states require parental consent, and eight others mandate notification of parents or guardians, said Louise D. Hartz, former president of the anti-abortion Virginia Society for Human Life.
Opponents say the issue will place an additional burden on girls from abusive or broken families.
A bill sponsored by Northern Virginia Democrat Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple does have support from lawmakers who support abortion rights. It states that contraception does not constitute abortion.
Whipple said she wants to protect contraception from being inadvertently restricted by anti-abortion legislation.
Other proposals being considered by the General Assembly would place heavier regulation on abortion clinics, would allow pharmacists to refuse to administer contraceptives, and would let drivers order a ``Choose Life'' license plate.
Conservatives say they have momentum.
Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, a staunch abortion foe, said he expects parental notification and a late-term abortion ban to become law. Even if his proposals fail, he said, ``Getting people on the record is a victory.''
Staff writers Warren Fiske and Robert McCabe contributed to this report. Reach Louis Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (804) 697-1563.
I read in the RTD however, that it's still alive in the Senate. The article said the committee hearing was tense as injured people testified to the pain and suffering caused by their not wearing seat belts. Who among us cannot tell a tale of woe regarding some dumb action or inaction on our part? Yet, we do not run off the government begging them to pass legislation in a misguided effort of saving us from ourselves. People who didn't learn in kindergarten to be responsible for themselves missed an important life lesson.
Of course, there is no question that should be done.
Can some of you who live in states where there is a lot of illegal immigration clue me in to who on earth would oppose visa tracking, and why?
If you or I go to France (for example) on a 21-day visa, the police at the POE get your address in France, and if your entry card doesn't have an exit stamp by day 22, they are knocking (politely) on your door to help you get to the airport.
Why don't we do this? Don't tell me it's Bush, or it's Clinton, or whatever. Who opposes this? No one, AFAIK.
In my state, you need to prove citizenship or legal residency to get an original license.
If you are a citizen or permanent legal resident (a condition which does not expire), your license is proof of status.
If you have a temporary right of abode, your license should expire along with your sojurn, and proof of extension should be required along with renewal.
Jan 20, 2003
License procedures frustrate immigrants
BY JUAN ANTONIO LIZAMA
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Pedro Rivas was driving a friend's car when a police officer pulled him over. He had no driver's license.
When Rivas appeared in court on Sept. 13, 2002, the judge fined him $250.
Rivas, 22, had made repeated attempts to obtain a learner's permit. In April, he went to a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office in Chesterfield County and presented four documents - a photo identification from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, a proof of Virginia residence, a Social Security number and his Salvadoran passport.
But he still couldn't get a license.
The clerk denied his applica- tion because his passport showed no evidence of a U.S. visa. Efforts at different offices ended in frustration.
"I always came out dejected, wanting to cry," he said in Spanish.
Many immigrants have gone through similar frustrations when trying to obtain a driver's license or similar ID after DMV tightened the rules in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
DMV regulations don't yet require that immigrants applying for a driver's license show proof of legal status in the United States, but Virginia's attorney general and a key legislator are pushing legislation that would do just that.
And to complicate matters, the murkiness of DMV procedures has prevented many qualified One of the problems, say critics of the DMV's new procedures, is that DMV clerks don't have the training needed to determine just who holds what immigration status, and how that should affect their application for a driver's license.
Herber Rodz,Rivas' English-As-A-Second-Language teacher, went to the DMV office with him to serve as an interpreter. Rodz told the clerk his student had crossed the border illegally, but the INS had issued him a work authorization.
The explanation didn't help. Unable to get a learner's permit, Rivas ran the risk of driving without a license.
He tried again on Jan. 6 with the same documents and a letter from the INS explaining his application for a renewal of his work authorization was under review.
DMV finally issued him a learner's permit.
Sen. Jay O'Brien, R-Fairfax, has proposed legislation for DMV to require proof of legal presence in the country and tying expiration of licenses to people's legal-immigration status.
He said he has been made aware that if his legislation goes through, many documented immigrants won't be able to obtain IDs.
DMV issues a driver's license for five years, O'Brien said. If someone is allowed to come into the country for two years, he would have the ID for three more years.
"It is my position that Virginia has no . . . authority to extend an individual to stay in the country," he said. "That's a federal issue. I think that by doing that, we are encouraging a person to abscond."
Hector Moreno, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Central Virginia, said those affected are people like his son.
Sebastian Moreno is 16. He attends James River High School, and it's time for him to obtain his learner's permit so he can drive when he is ready to go to college.
"I think that if one is legal, one can do things correctly," Hector Moreno said. "But DMV is making people do things incorrectly. DMV has every reason not to issue a license to those who don't have [documentation], but to those who have legal documents, why deny it?"
Ofelia Robaina, an immigrant counselor with the Refugee and Immigration Services of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, said the definition of "legal" is too complex for most DMV clerks to understand.
Only an expert or a person trained in immigration law could perform a job effectively at an DMV office, she said.
"When people talk about illegal, they have to think twice about who they call illegal," Robaina said. "To find out if a person is legal or illegal is very difficult and changes from day to day," she said. "[DMV] clerks don't have that immigration background."
Moreno, a native of Colombia, entered the country with his family in 1999. He held an H-2B visa as a qualified worker. His son entered on an H-4 visa as a dependent of a legal worker.
The clerk at the Chesterfield DMV officer where Sebastian Moreno applied for a permit said he needed a Social Security number or a letter from the Social Security Administration certifying that he didn't need a Social Security number.
The Morenos returned with the letter. The DMV clerk said he didn't have enough documentation and refused to tell them what else Sebastian needed, Hector Moreno said.
A DMV study released this month recommended that the General Assembly not take any action at this time "to require applicants for driver's licenses and ID cards to prove that their presence in the U.S. is lawful or to require that expiration of the documents be tied to the duration of an applicant's legal presence."
The DMV study concluded that requiring proof of an alien's legal presence in the United States:
According to the Hispanic Committee of Virginia, undocumented immigrants in Virginia annually contribute $77 million in federal income tax, $11 million in state income tax and $29.5 million in sales tax.
No state agency keeps statistics on how many accidents involve unlicensed drivers. DMV reported that in 2001, out of 262,327 accidents, 3,373 drivers - about 1.3 percent - were uninsured.
Sgt. John Bowman of the Richmond Police Department said it is nothing new for some people to be driving without a license or insurance. Uninsured motorists span all categories of people, he said.
"It doesn't matter if the driver is rich or poor, white, black, red, yellow, male or female, everything," Bowman said. "Whether [drivers have] got a million dollars or whether they have a dime."
Still, said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, the legal-presence law is necessary for public safety.
"Simply because people would break a law is no argument against the law," he said.
Community Officer Kurt Mutter of the Richmond police said he frequently deals with the problem of drivers without licenses. And it will only get worse with an increase in the immigrant population.
"They are going to drive," he said. "What are they going to do? They have to work."
My take is similar to yours here. Bills have to be passed to stop illegals from doing legal things? The only bill that should be passed is one that would make it a crime for any government employee to not turn in illegals (school employees, registry, tax collection, medical assistance, etc.) for immediate deportation.
Why not? Everybody would have to have their birth certificate for this, just like for a job application or security check. It's no big deal, especially if it will help send home people who are in the US illegally.
Why wasn't he arrested on the spot?
What I don't understand, is why?
Stopping illegal immigration, guarding the borders, and eliminating the terrorist army in our midst is enormously popular, according to polls.
And no American citizens are against it, at least not so that you'd notice.
Politicians are normally quite sensitive to polls and vox pop.
What's different about this issue?
There's the entire issue in a nut shell.
Immigration is a Federal matter which deeply affects the States. What I see coming, is a very unconservative argument in favor of some sort of a national ID card, because it would be more expedient than attacking 50 different State legislatures, and trying to achieve equal results from State to State. In that case, conservative principles which would normally reject such an idea, would have to make compromises for the sake of solving this issue.
I'm not sure I understand what you meant to say here. I have never been asked for my birth certificate whan interviewing for a job, not only that, but it would create a problem for naturalized American citizens whose birth certificate is from a different nation.
There's also the fact that birth certificates offer nothing in the way of proof as to whether the individual presenting it as proof it is actually the person in the document. They are also very easy to counterfit.
I am all the time when applying to work in schools. The easiest thing to use is that birth certificate. If the person is a naturalized citizen, they can bring along proof of citizenship. Again, no big deal.
There's also the fact that birth certificates offer nothing in the way of proof as to whether the individual presenting it as proof it is actually the person in the document. They are also very easy to counterfit.
Then, again, you do what I have to do all the time. I also have a picture ID (driver's license, passport, college ID, etc.) for proof. Anyone who wants to buy a beer or a cigarette has to have that for proof.
It's a small price to pay to get the criminals who are in the country illegally deported. (And anyone here illegally is a criminal). And, anyone who is here illegally or not proud enough of their citizenship to prove it should leave the country immediately.
We don't have any need for the immigrant population right now. What we do need is to secure the borders and stabilize the population. There are plenty of people to do the work...aging and retiring baby boomers who lost their retirement money in the stock market fiasco will provide a wonderful labor source.
We disagree here, there's nothing in the US Constitution that gives the Federal government the power to ask citizens to produce proof of citizenship on demand. We need to find a way to achieve the same results without encroaching on the constitutional freedoms of the citizenry in general. So, I see no compelling reason which would dictate my "showing pride" in my citizenship equating to producing documents on demand for the authorities, that's not what this country is all about, and my pride in being American commands me to fight against such power being given to the Federal government.
We do, but you are always informed and passionate about your views and present them in a dignified way. I respect that.
I see a terrible threat to our real freedoms...movement, speech, activities, etc. that is far worse than the inconvenience of having to have papers necessary to prove my citizenship. The best way to save those other freedoms, which are potentially compromised by some of the Homeland Security initiatives, is to make the nation whole again. That means closing up those porous borders and stabilizing the population. We're at a defense, moral, economic, and cultural crisis. We have a few generations of people from which most of the leaders who emerge don't know sacrifice or hardship. They think everything can be solved by applying another textbook answer.
If we aren't more tolerant of the small things (like being able to prove who we are and if we belong here), we lose the big things. Right now, the priority is saving the nation, its values, its security, its culture, and its laws.
Thank you, it's nice to have a dialogue with someone rather than a flame war.
"If we aren't more tolerant of the small things (like being able to prove who we are and if we belong here), we lose the big things."
It seems that we are losing the big things one small step at a time, and that would be one more step. Take as an example gun registration, no big deal at the surface, or so it would seem, but it was mandatory gun registration that provided the database for Hitler and Castro to round up all guns, and disarm the citizenry after seizing power.
Does gun registration make sense at the surface? It certainly does, as it would provide a readily available database to track down ownership of guns used during crimes. Am I opposed to it? Absolutely. The remedy could have far deadlier consequences than the disease.
I *PINGED* you and Jim Noble to what I have been able to come up as a long-term solution to the illegal immigrant program, it's an article titled "Ants".
Jan 29, 2003
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill requiring illegal aliens to pay out-of-state tuition to attend Virginia public colleges.
A final House vote on Del. Thelma Drake's bill is scheduled for Thursday. The legislation is backed by Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, who said in a September opinion that state-supported colleges should deny admission to illegal aliens. Those who are enrolled should be charged the higher out-of-state tuition, he wrote.
Drake, R-Norfolk, said the federal government also denies financial aid to students who are in the country illegally.
Del. L. Karen Darner, D-Arlington, said the measure punishes children who had no control over being brought to the United States by their parents. Most of those children attend public elementary and secondary schools and are unaware of their "undocumented status" when they enroll in college, she said.
"These kids have considered themselves residents of Virginia," Darner said. "Every day they pledge allegiance to the United States."
Del. Jack Reid, R-Henrico, spoke for the bill.
"We don't even allow in-state rates to those in the armed forces stationed in Virginia," he said.
Reid sponsored legislation to bar enrollment of illegal aliens in Virginia's public colleges, and Darner proposed a bill allowing them to pay in-state tuition. Those bills were tabled by a subcommittee for further study.
Virginia college officials do not track the number of illegal aliens in the system.