Half-Million Driver’s Licenses Granted to Illegal Immigrants

DMVRoiled by immigration fears on both sides, California supplied drivers licenses to big numbers of the otherwise undocumented, further sharpening the statewide debate.

“California issued more than a half-million driver’s licenses under a new law granting the identifying documents to immigrants who may be in the country illegally,” the Associated Press noted. “The Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday that 605,000 licenses were issued since AB60 took effect last January. That’s out of 830,000 applications.”

The Orange County Registerreported that reaching and processing that group would cost an estimated $141 million spread over three years. “Seniors were particularly hard hit because anyone over 70 has to appear in person at a DMV office to have a license renewed,” according to the Register. But 76-year-old Kent Moore told the Register that he had “mixed feelings” about spending hours at the Costa Mesa DMV despite holding an appointment. “These folks have jobs. And they support families. If they go through the credential process, they shouldn’t be denied,” he said. “But I paid my dues. I’ve been a model citizen. I don’t feel I should have to wait in line for hours, behind newly arrived people who are here illegally.”

No residency permits

Although opposition to the licensing plan has been steady, it has not produced a groundswell strong enough to roll back the problem. But a proposed initiative that would have ushered in a residence permit system for those who unlawfully entered and remained in the state failed to collect enough signatures to meet the requirements for inclusion on the ballot this election year. The so-called California Immigration Reform Act “would also have created a new state department to administer the permit system, require permit holders to pay state income taxes and make permit holders eligible for certain public benefits,” MyNewsLA noted. “The initiative would also have prohibited state and local governments from using public funds to support or otherwise participate in federal immigration enforcement against permit holders.”

Immigration has remained a sharply divisive issue, with state officials seeking to pursue an accommodating course while many residents remain on edge. Late last month, the Golden State was virtually alone in responding favorably to the federal government’s request for help in housing immigrant children on their own. “California and Virginia told the National Guard Bureau they have facilities that could be used but they would require additional funding if asked to meet federal requirements,”according to the Associated Press. California Guard spokesman Brandon Honig told the AP that “all state facilities would require work for fencing or other items to meet the requirements.”

Raid fears

But this month, passions have run high amid a spate of federal immigration raids both real and imagined. In events that sent tremors through California politics, “Democrats, led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have protested a number of raids carried out in southern states by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers against illegal immigrants from Central America — 121 adults and children who had been ordered to leave the country by a judge,” ABC News reported. “Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, who has been in constant communication with White House officials and attended the Tuesday meeting with the White House council, said she was not aware of any imminent ‘pause’ to the operations.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had predicted a reprieve, although he couldn’t speak to when the White House might announce it, according to The Hill.

Rumors quickly caught fire in California that deportation raids were underway on the west coast too. As Fusion noted, “there were multiple reports of immigration officials lingering in front of a San Francisco elementary school. Tweets, Facebook updates, and even Instagram posts reported immigration checkpoints at grocery stores all over the Bay Area. There were also reports of immigration agents rounding up day laborers at a Home Depot in Hayward. But all of the reports turned out to be false, according to immigration officials and other social media users who went looking for the raids with the intent to share pictures and video.”

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com

79,000 CA Driver’s Licenses Issued to Illegal Immigrants … So Far

Move out of the way, Californians. Illegal aliens are in the building … literally.

Now that DMV – everyone’s favorite destination – is giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses, new offices are being opened around the state, more employees are being hired and office hours are being extended.

According to the Orange County Register, “DMV has issued 79,000 new driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and administered approximately 523,000 written and behind-the-wheel exams” since the law took effect on January 2nd.

I’m not sure what’s more ludicrous – giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses or using our tax dollars to provide them with this luxury. While most people say they want illegal aliens to have driver’s licenses, they forget a few major points:

Number one: Why are we providing someone the ability to drive in our country when they aren’t allowed to be here in the first place? Wouldn’t it make more sense to deport them? If they break the law before they’re a United States citizen, how do we know they won’t break the law if and when they’re a legal citizen?

Number two: It’s not fair to reward those who break the law. What about the people who have waited years to come to our country? They’re being penalized for following the proper protocol.

Number three: My mom was involved in an accident with an illegal alien. He had no license, no insurance and was let off scot-free. I wrote about the experience extensively. Unfortunately, Americans are left with the aftermath while an illegal alien is able to move on with their lives.

Giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens does nothing but place an even greater burden on our system. Those of us who pay into the tax system are seeing our tax dollars used to extend the DMV, one of the biggest government bureaucracies, for the benefit of those who don’t contribute via taxes.

Instead of literally throwing money down the drain, our nation needs to address the immigration system as a whole. Some states, like California, who are giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses, are asking for a wave of illegals to flock to the state for this benefit.

Not only is this an immigration issue, but it’s also an economic issue. Bringing low-skilled labor to the market is not what California needs. We need high-skilled, highly valuable workers who will raise wages, not lower them.

DMV Jammed — Illegal Immigrants to Blame?

Have you tried to schedule an appointment for a license renewal lately?

I received a renewal reminder in mid-January. The expiration of my license is March 18th.

Within a week after receiving it, I attempted to schedule an appointment at the DMV.  I tried several offices in the area – the earliest appointments were in early to mid-April.  Does me a lot of good.

I called Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian’s office for assistance.  The field rep confirmed my suspicion that the lack of timely appointments was due to the surge of applicants caused by the passage of AB60, the bill authorizing the licensing of illegal immigrants.

Put aside the divisive politics for a moment.  When the legislature passes a bill that creates a reasonably predictable response – and certainly anyone in Sacramento could have figured AB60 would send people flocking to the DMV – would it not make sense to staff offices accordingly, even extend hours into the evening?

Better yet, why not grant automatic 30-day extensions to those of us with the misfortune to have their renewals fall in this timeframe?

I suggested that to Nazarian’s field representative.  He doubted anything could be done.

“Why not executive action,” I asked.  Once again, he could not see that happening.

I guess Governor Brown is too preoccupied with laying track for HSR.

The rep did say he would pass along my suggestion to the assembly member.

My next stop – State Senator Hertzberg.

I will keep you posted.

 (Paul Hatfield is a CPA and former NC Valley Village board member and treasurer.  He blogs at Village to Village and contributes to CityWatch. He can be reached at: phinnoho@aol.com)

Originally posted on CityWatchLA.com

Illegal Elves

Illegal Elves

 

Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons

Obama poised to accelerate CA’s rolling amnesty

Many Americans across the country have expressed uncertainty or alarm about president Obama’s executive action on immigration, which he will announce today.

However, in California, where millions of illegal immigrants live, a semi-formal version of state-level amnesty has been gathering steam for years. Despite dogged opposition by Republican and Tea Party activists, Sacramento’s slow-motion legalization of the undocumented has paved the way for the White House’s planned moves to receive a much smoother reception than in other state capitols.

Still, the exact details of Obama’s intended actions remain murky, and even among libertarian-leaning immigration doves, his assertion of sweeping executive powers has hit against fierce criticism. Indeed, as the Washington Post noted, the president himself previously disavowed the constitutionality of what he may now have resolved to do — insisting he was “not a king” and could not “just suspend deportations through executive order.” Californians have not been immune to the sense of ambiguity surrounding Obama’s shifting immigration policy.

Apprehension and expectations

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, one illegal immigrant described his discomfort in emblematic terms. Ernesto Perez — a 44-year-old father of four who has spent 19 years residing illegally in the United States — told the paper, “Obama is the only hope we have right now. Because three of my kids live with me, I’m always afraid that I will be separated from them. They need me. We need each other.”

Perez’ long undocumented stay underscored just how lax California has been in prosecuting illegal immigration, and for how long. His personal uncertainty, however, confirmed what millions of legal and illegal residents have known about president Obama for years: his willingness to deport. Critics from the left, such as Bill Moyers, have slammed Obama for breaking records with over 2 million deportations during his time in office.

That’s why illegal immigrants in California have depended so much on the Golden State’s incremental approach to legalization. Through a battery of state laws and regulations, Sacramento has given undocumented residents several protective paths toward the kind of status that makes it harder to deport.

With taxpayer money, access has been opened to educational loans for college, legal representation in juvenile court proceedings, driver’s licenses and the practice of law without a Social Security number. The California Supreme Court ruled in January that Sergio Garcia, an illegal immigrant who duly passed the California Bar Examination, could not be prohibited by the state from practicing law; Gov. Jerry Brown authorized Garcia’s license soon thereafter.

A push from activists

California activists dedicated to full legalization have used the state’s legal landscape as a justification for pressing president Obama for sweeping changes. In a typical statement making the rounds, California Immigrant Policy Center director Reshma Shamasunder urged Obama “to move on executive action and end unjust deportations that have caused the separation of families, as quickly as possible. Given the stalling we’ve seen in Congress for so many years, we hope he is bold in his action and covers as many people as possible.”

As KQED reported, California’s rules helped swell the immigrant population to its current level, with about half of the children in state claiming an immigrant parent and one in four residents claiming foreign birth. Although legal immigrants have not pushed in a collective way for swift and full amnesty, Latino voters have consistently shown support for some kind of expanded “path toward citizenship,” as policymakers in both major political parties often put it.

For their part, Republicans have warned of consequences if Obama opts against enforcing the immigration laws on the books. Michael Steel, the spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, adopted the colorful language characteristic of today’s media relations officials, “If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue — and many others.”

Rhetoric or reality? With the president’s announcement on amnesty coming tomorrow, the fireworks will begin in earnest. The new, Republican-dominated Senate is seated in January, added to continued GOP control of the House.

Obama is leaving office in two years due to term limits. So in the new year, jockeying to be his replacement will intensify in both the Republican and Democratic parties, with his amnesty possibly the top issue out of the starting gate.

This piece was originally published at CalWatchdog.com

University Insiders: Illegal Immigrants Get Affirmative Action

This week, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill to require the state’s public universities to give undocumented aliens — generally illegal — in-state tuition privileges.

The bill, known as the Dream Act, is already the law in ten other states, including California, New York, Texas and Illinois.

But critics argue that the bill will give illegal aliens better treatment than Americans and legal immigrants — thanks to existing diversity policies at universities.

Read More at Fox News By Maxim Lott, Fox News

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