Position Paper: No Drivers Licenses for Illegal Aliens

American citizens are overwhelmingly opposed to the granting of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, but open-borders organizations and even some state elected officials have been relentless in defying the will of the people. The 9/11 Commission found that the 19 hijackers held 16 driver’s licenses and 14 state-issued ID cards, which enabled these terrorists to rent cars and apartments, open bank accounts, take flying lessons, and otherwise blend into American society while they planned their attacks. At least two of them, including the pilot of the plane that flew into the Pentagon, were illegally in the United States (by overstaying their visas) at the time they obtained their driver’s licenses.

In America, the driver’s license has become a “de facto” universal identification card. Yet many states still do not thoroughly verify the applicants’ identities. Some states do not even require a valid Social Security number to get a license and many will issue a state ID number for those without Social Security numbers. This, of course, makes it very easy for illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses. These licenses become “creation documents” which allow the recipients to obtain additional documents, based upon the false premise that they are U.S. citizens. For example, all of the 9/11 hijackers had legitimate driver’s licenses or state-issued non-driver’s identification cards, which they then could use when opening bank accounts, renting apartments, and boarding planes.

Many states have gotten the message about the danger of giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. The State of Virginia, after finding out that several of the 9/11 hijackers carried that state’s driver’s licenses, passed new legislation to prevent a repeat occurrence.

Only seven states – Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington – currently allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. New York may be the eighth if Governor Spitzer decides to change the state’s policy by no longer requiring applicants to provide Social Security numbers or proof they’re eligible for Social Security cards.

One of the arguments in favor of issuing drivers licenses to illegal aliens is that it will make our roads safer and that it will take them out of the shadows. This is not likely, as those who have already broken U.S. laws to come here illegally will most likely continue to break our laws, to drive without insurance and to obtain “creation document” drivers licenses under false names. The majority of Americans want Illegal Aliens to come out of the shadows too, but they also want them to leave the USA.

As a bare minimum, an applicant for a driver’s license in any state should be required to provide proof of lawful presence in the United States by means of a US government issued document or valid foreign passport. The expiration date of a license issued to a temporary foreign visitor must match the expiration date of the visa. Any states that do not establish these minimum standards will become magnets for illegal aliens, foreign terrorists, criminals and identity thieves.

I support the following two bills in Congress that would prevent illegal aliens from getting driver’s licenses and state issued ID cards:

HR 5322 – the Drivers’ License Integrity Act, sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia, 7th), would:

  • cause driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards issued to nonimmigrant aliens to automatically expire at the end of the alien’s lawful stay in the United States
  • require visitors to the U.S. to prove they are here legally before being issued a driver’s licenses or state-issued identification card
  • provide U.S. Department of Justice grants and technical assistance to help the states meet the requirements of the Act
  • HR 4043 – the Visa and License Integrity Act, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona, 1st), would:

  • prevent agencies of the U.S. federal government from accepting driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards issued by states that do not tie the expiration date of those documents to nonimmigrant aliens’ lawful duration of stay.
  • Judyth Piazza is the host of the American Perspective Radio Program, a cutting edge radio program that is full of inspiration and information. It’s intended to help people succeed in life.

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