View From Lodi, CA: Latino Lobby Never Satisfied

California Governor Gray Davis` veto of a driver`s
license bill for illegal aliens triggered the
predictable whining from the usual cast of characters.

Equally predictable was the one-dimensional,
sophomoric journalism “covering” the issue.
Someone—editors, perhaps—should point out to Sacramento
beat reporters that California politics doesn`t begin
and end with the

Latino Caucus
wish list.

Lead bellyacher Assemblyman

Gil Cedillo,
D-Los Angeles and author of AB 60
charged that Davis made his decision based on

“xenophobia, hysteria and segregation.”

Maria Blanco,

national counsel

for MALDEF, said Davis` decision “shocked” her. Said

“It`s the number one thing on people`s minds. The
perception is `Why?` We need this. We drive. What does
it take to do the right thing?”

Blanco has asked an excellent question.

Permit me to answer.

The right thing would be to come into the U.S.

What Cedillo and MALDEF want is for people who have
probably committed a minimum of three felonies to be
rewarded with driver`s licenses:

Felony #1: illegal entry into the U.S.;
Felony #2: purchasing

fraudulent documents
to secure employment;
Felony #3: misrepresenting the legality of those
documents at the workplace.

Granting driver`s licenses under those conditions
would be a kind of reverse trifecta: commit three crimes
and you hit the jackpot.

As usual, the illegals cases is presented only in the
most glowing light. Mike Garcia, president of the
Service Employees International Union Local 1877

that Davis ignores the illegal alien`s role in
the California economy. “You take the

work force out of the

, the economy collapses,”
said Garcia. 

This often-quoted statement is never challenged even
though it would not stand up under scrutiny. You can
count on reading it over and over again—in the driver`s
license debate and other controversies—because it meshes
so well with the preconceived notion that only good
things come from unlimited mass immigration.

Illegal immigration advocates have introduced one
interesting new twist, vapid though it is, into their
crusade for licenses. Since illegal immigrants are
driving anyway, the argument goes, they should get be
required to take and pass tests. And having licenses
will prompt the drivers to purchase insurance.

That`s creative but total nonsense. Even if the
driver gets insurance, it can be cancelled immediately
after the license is issued.

Granting driver`s licenses to people illegally in the
U.S. creates grave danger—not safety.

Commissioner Charlie Weaver of the Minnesota
Department of Public Safety made the following

of the so-called safety issue of driver`s
licenses to illegal aliens:

Wrote Weaver:

“Advocates argue that they want to give drivers
licenses to illegal immigrants so they will be safer
drivers. This argument is completely without merit and
is a transparent attempt to turn the illegal immigrant
problem into a public safety issue. There is no evidence
that if illegal immigrants received driver`s licenses,
they would enroll in driver education programs, obtain
insurance, and refrain from fleeing the scene of an
accident. Common sense dictates that an individual on
the run from the law would not wait around at an
accident site for the police to arrive.”

Above and beyond the obvious concerns, the driver`s
license is our de facto national

identity card
. In light of 9/11, we cannot be
issuing them willy-nilly to anyone who has a hankering
to drive.

What we need to do, instead, is treat them like
domestic passports.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle
Administrators (
has a list of

for making driver license issuance
more secure. The list does not include giving licenses
to illegal aliens.

Each state has its own standards for licensing
drivers and each has different identification
requirements. In total, more than 200 ID forms are
accepted nationwide. The AAMVA calls for uniform
residency standard for all 50 states and secure
identification credentials in order to get a driver`s

According to the AAMVA, motor vehicle officials fear
that, without a more streamlined process, terrorists and
others with criminal intent will explore the system
looking for the state with the biggest loopholes.

"Unscrupulous individuals shop for the easiest and
fastest way to get a license,"

Betty Serian, head of the AAMVA`s Security Task
Force. "They find the loopholes and they put you and
me at risk. And without changes to our current business
practices, we cannot be assured that everyone presenting
a driver`s license is who they say they are."

In light
of 9/11, the Latino Caucus should have promoted an
attitude more supportive of the collective good.
Instead, it continued on its divisive path regardless
of the stakes.

Special Joe Guzzardi Note
to VDARE.COM Readers: Have

you ever seen such ninnies and whiners as the Latino
Caucus? Because Davis vetoed the driver`s license
bill, the Caucus claims it will withhold its support
from him this November.

And do what? Back Bill

By any measure, 2002 has
been a triumphant year for the Caucus.  Among its
accomplishments are a bill granting

in-state university tuition
for qualifying high-school students even
though they are in the U.S. illegally, a bill giving

increased bargaining power

to the United
Farm Workers
and the

growing acceptance

of the

Matricula Consular

cards. These cards, if the State Department ever got
around to making an investigation, would in all
likelihood be declared null and void. Even in a
post-9/11 environment, Latino issues continue to
steamroll logic with no let up in sight.

But on driver`s
licenses—the one issue on which Davis could not afford
to cave in—the Caucus still raised a big stink.

Some people are never

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English
at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly
column since 1988. It currently appears in the

Lodi News-Sentinel