As part of legislation to express California’s intention to comply with the federal Real ID Act, State Sen. Gilbert Cedillo wants to allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses. Proponents say it is necessary to give undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses so they can get auto insurance, but opponents say it would encourage illegal immigration. American City & County asked readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if undocumented immigrants should receive driver’s licenses. Below are some of the responses.
“Since accidents [involving] undocumented immigrants [who do] not have insurance — and cannot get it without a driver’s license — [cause] insurance rates to go up for the rest of us to cover the uninsured motorists’ expenses, I would be in favor of allowing driver’s licenses [for undocumented immigrants]. On the other hand, if the undocumented immigrants are afraid of the consequences of revealing themselves just to get a license, then compliance would be minimal and it would make little difference.”
— Patricia Todd, corporate accounting manager, Austin, Texas, Controller’s Office
“The atmosphere of political correctness that is overtaking logical thinking in the U.S. today is threatening not only our economy [and] our security, but [our] culture and way of life as we know it. I think that it is utterly preposterous to reward illegal immigrants with a driver’s license. Do you think that not having a driver’s license would stop them from driving? [They have] already broken the law to get here. It is a slap in the face to every immigrant that has gone through the process legally to allow this continued coddling of the undocumented immigrants and the circumvention of our country’s immigration laws.”
— B.C. Reiley, environmental consultant, Manheim, Pa.
“If they are in the country illegally, they should not be able to get anything other than arrested and deported. When I came to this country in 1991, it was after following the required years of processing and paying thousands of dollars to the government. If we really ‘need’ these workers, then we need a way to make their access and work in the U.S. legal, at least [temporarily]. However, if they are here illegally, they should be detained and returned.”
— Jeff Allen, fire marshal, Irmo, S.C.