The Save Our License Initiative: Ending “The Deal” In California

Shortly after Arnold Schwarzenegger

California`s governor
, I bumped into a Mexican
acquaintance whom I will call Carmen.

"I don`t think Schwarzenegger

likes Mexicans
Carmen said. "He doesn`t want
us to have

driver`s licenses."

For a brief moment, I considered
explaining to Carmen the whys and wherefores of
Schwarzenegger`s position.

But I quickly abandoned the idea
because I knew efforts to enlighten her would be futile. 

Carmen would never understand. She
has "THE DEAL"

Broadly defined, "the deal"
is this: upon


) entering the US, aliens enroll their
children in

K-12 schools,
sign up for medical care, and look for
employment on or off the books.

"The deal"—vigorously

south of the

and virtually

north of the border—is constantly
changing. But it only gets sweeter.

Because of intensive lobbying by the
Mexican government, the matricula consular card,
unheard of five years ago, is now widely accepted as
valid identification throughout the United States.

During the last decade, many states
have enacted legislation that allows illegal aliens to
pay in-state tuition rates at local colleges and


Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,
issued in 1997 by the Internal Revenue Service and
expressly to be used for tax purposes only, is now an

acceptable document
in lieu of a social security
number to obtain a

home mortgage.

Carmen has benefited from "the
more than most. Her husband`s income from his
construction job is adequate enough so that Carmen
doesn`t have to work. She and her husband own two late
model vehicles…and drive them without licenses.

Carmen`s days are spent on the San
Joaquin County Delta College campus where she is enrolled
in taxpayer-subsidized community college education.
Carmen scheduled her classes so that she would be out in
time to pick up her

Mexican-born children from
their California

primary school instruction.

But to Carmen the thought that a
driver`s license might actually be denied to her is
virtually incomprehensible. According to her mind-set,
there is no rational reason to deny licenses to illegal

National security isn`t really an
issue for Mexican nationals like Carmen. Her own personal
agenda comes first:


And to suggest that licenses are a

privilege reserved for legal immigrants
introduces a
concept that is beyond her grasp.

For Carmen, the only conceivable
explanation that aliens don`t have driver`s licenses
is—Schwarzenegger dislikes Mexicans!

Carmen isn`t totally to blame for
her mindset. As one of millions of Mexicans illegally in
California, she expects to get everything that the Latino
Caucus demands on her behalf.

And God knows that, in California
politics, the driver`s license is the proverbial bad
penny that just won`t go away.

Beginning in 2003 with a bill
introduced by California Senator Gil Cedillo as SB 60 and
relentlessly reintroduced as SB 1160 (it later evolved
into AB 2895), legislation to make driver`s licenses
available to illegal aliens is constantly pressed by the
Latino Caucus.

Under the provisions of SB 1160/AB
2895, licenses would be issued to aliens upon their
presentation to the DMV of a matricula consular
card, a federal taxpayer identification number and/or

foreign passports
, driver`s licenses or birth

Note that authentic identification,
like a social security card, would not be required.

In September 2004 Schwarzenegger, as
he promised he would,

vetoed AB 2895.

But Cedillo has come came right back
and again demanded that Schwarzenegger approve
legislation virtually identical to SB 60.

And check the arrogant and
confrontational language used by Cedillo`s office.

Speaking for Cedillo, press
secretary Edward Headington


"We can
be thoughtful and methodical like last year in meeting
with the governor—the

Michael Corleone
style; or we can do the Sonny
Corleone style and go to the mattresses and make it a big
public fight for nine months."

But of course the truth is that
there is no big public fight looming. Californians
overwhelmingly oppose licenses for illegal aliens.

Schwarzenegger knows where
Californians stand.  His position on driver`s licenses is
one reason why he and not Gray Davis won the 2003
gubernatorial recall race

And Gil Cedillo is equally aware
that Californians are opposed. But he just can`t come to
terms with the reality that California isn`t Mexico yet.

Besides, what else does

"One-Bill Gil"
do if he isn`t constantly beating
the dead horse of licenses for aliens?

Grass-roots Californians are
mobilizing kill off the license scandal once and for
all—and to start shutting down "The Deal."


Save Our License Committee
, headed by Mike Spence and
California Assemblyman Mark Wyland, is gathering
signatures for a Proposition 187-type ballot initiative
similar to that will:

1. Prevent
the government from authorizing or providing driver`s
licenses or government identification cards, in-state
college tuition discounts,

and other tax-funded benefits to illegal

2. Mandate
that the State must

defend this amendment
against any and all challenges
in state or federal court.

3. Allow
private citizens the

right to sue
the State or

local government
to insure compliance with this

4. Hold

government and elected officials

willfully violate
this amendment personally liable
for the costs of litigation.

Wyland, who has a separate website
supporting the S.O.L. initiative, calls for California to
"actively" discourage illegal immigration and
recommends that all high-school graduates be fluent in

The internet makes grass roots
insurrections easier. Registered California voters can
download the petition

and mail the completed form,

But bureaucracy still bumbles on.
The later the signed petition arrives, the less likely
they will be properly processed.

Earlier this week, I spoke to
Spence, who expressed cautious optimism that the
necessary 600,000 signatures would be collected.

"We have
had great support from Assemblyman Wyland and from talk
radio shows, especially

John and Ken,"
said Spence.

When I asked Spence if the

passed by the House of Representatives
that denied licenses to aliens minimized the importance
of the S.O.L. effort, he replied:

"Absolutely not.

HR 418
still has to pass the Senate—a tall
order—and does nothing about matricula cards or
welfare benefits."

California has to save itself.

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.