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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    No-Frills (Driving) Card Urged for Illegals (New Jersey)


    No-Frills Card Urged for Illegals
    April 12, 2005
    Elizabeth Llorente

    A coalition of Latino clergy is calling on New Jersey to offer a state-issued card that would allow illegal immigrants to drive but, unlike a traditional license, would not serve as identification.

    The group says the so-called driving privilege card would balance the "competing realities" of national security and the need of thousands of illegal immigrants to drive to work.

    "This is in the interest of both the security and economy of New Jersey," said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the state chapter of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, which plans a press conference in the next few weeks to launch a campaign for the licenses.

    "With this driver's permit, undocumented people will be in the system and we'll know who and where they are, so it's good for security," said Rivera, of Hasbrouck Heights. "It's good for our safety because they'll have to show they have the driving skills before they can get this card. And it's good for liability because they'll be able to get insurance."

    The group, called CONLAMIC-NJ, is working with the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, a consortium of state Hispanic organizations, to find legislative sponsors for the proposal.

    "It's a complicated issue because we certainly don't want to deprive people who are already here of the opportunity to earn a living," said Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, D-Hudson, chairwoman of the Assembly Homeland Security Committee. "On the other hand, we don't want to appear to be approving their continuing illegal status."

    Quigley stressed that she would support a driving card if it would provide a means for unlicensed drivers to show they have the skills and knowledge to operate a car and enable them to get insurance.

    "That would persuade me because then we would be assisting the general public as well as the illegal immigrants," she said.

    Assemblyman Brian Stack, D-Hudson, lives in a district where illegal immigrant drivers abound. "I would support something like that," said Stack, who has helped many illegals become legal. "They benefit our economy; we're a country of immigrants. Let's find them, help them get documented and follow the proper procedures for driving a car."

    The mere concept of a no-frills document that would allow illegal immigrants to drive is already generating controversy in New Jersey.

    Many Latino community leaders support the coalition's proposal, but some worry that such a card would tag holders as illegals.

    People who want stricter immigration control oppose the very notion of allowing illegal immigrants to drive, saying any document bestowing driving privileges amounts to rewarding foreigners who broke the law to enter the United States.

    "I would fight this absolutely," said Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, a GOP contender for governor. "It's ridiculous for a government agency to issue licenses or give any benefits to illegal immigrants when it's against our laws for them to be here."

    The idea of a driver's card, dubbed a "lite license," is relatively new. Utah and Tennessee offer such cards, and a few other states are considering them.

    New Jersey is among the majority of states that require people seeking a driver's license to prove that they are in the United States legally.

    The coalition's proposal follows an announcement last month by the state Motor Vehicle Commission that it will not renew driver's licenses for perhaps tens of thousands of people whose Social Security numbers cannot be verified.

    MVC officials believe that many, if not most, of those with questionable data are illegal immigrants who cannot obtain valid Social Security numbers. Between 300,000 and 500,000 illegal immigrants are believed to be living in New Jersey.

    Gordon Deal, the MVC spokesman, said that what to do about illegal immigrant drivers "is a very important issue; we're very aware of that in New Jersey."

    He said it could well be something that a task force examining the state's driver licensing process will discuss within the next year.

    But allowing illegal immigrants to drive is a difficult issue, politically, for New Jersey to grapple with, Deal suggested.

    "We're in the midst of all these giant reforms to button up security because we've been lax for so long," he said. "We have laws that say you must supply a Social Security number and demonstrate your legal presence here. We would be in for an enormous change if we were going to implement something like [the driving card]."

    Sean Darcy, a spokesman for acting Governor Codey, declined comment, saying the Governor's Office would have to study the details of the proposal.

    Though all of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, entered the country legally -- mostly on tourist and student visas -- many of them continued using their driver's licenses well after their visas expired. They used the licenses to obtain bank accounts, rent apartments and, in general, blend in with U.S. citizens.

    On the national level, legislation pending in the U.S. Senate would require states to obtain proof of a person's lawful presence in the United States before issuing a license. Under this measure, called the REAL ID Act, any state that failed to follow this requirement would not have its licenses accepted by federal government agencies as valid identification.

    Lonegan said New Jersey would be "putting out a welcome mat for illegal immigrants from other states" if it issued a document that would allow the undocumented to drive.

    "We'll be a magnet for illegal immigrants," he said. "We need to fight illegal immigration, not help it. We need to find illegal immigrants and deport them."

    Martin Perez, president of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, supports the idea of a driving card for the undocumented and plans to meet with Rivera in a few days to map out a strategy for drumming up public support. He said opponents of the "lite license" are not facing up to reality.

    "The choice we have here is not whether we'll have illegal immigrants driving on New Jersey's roads," he said. "There's no question that they will drive. The choice is whether they'll be licensed drivers or unlicensed drivers.

    "We've got to abandon this hypocrisy about illegal immigration," he said. "We say they shouldn't be here, that we will deny them services and the ability to drive. Yet we hire them to cut our grass, clean our office buildings, lay our tiles. We want them to do these jobs, and to show up on time for them. But we don't want to help them to be able to transport themselves to the jobs we hire them for."
    "This country has lost control of its borders. And no country can sustain that kind of position." .... Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Thank You!! I hope Dataman sees this.

    I've been waiting for this
    Cody, the wimp, "has to look it over?" What is there to look over?
    ILLEGAL anyone?

    NJ DMV has been so corrupt and many arrests have been made over the past 2 years with employees selling IDs to illegals of all nationalities.

    All the state wants to do is rake in the cash themselves
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    no frills driving license

    I think these people are getting dumber and dumber as time goes on. Here we are trying to make things safer, and they want us to make certain exceptions to the law, just for them.
    I wish these 'illegal pushers' would stop already with 'we are a country of immigrants'. SO? What's your point? Don't you people realize that after 9/11, that all of us have had to make adjustments, and there is absolutely no reason to make exceptions for people who are idiotic enough to be here illegally in the first place.
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    I think these people are getting dumber and dumber as time goes on
    I see this a little differently, BB. I think they're smart as foxes.

    When you shoot buckshot, something's going to hit the mark. And, there are so many shotguns pointed at the American People that some of that shot is in fact, hitting the mark.

    We need to focus on the heads of the snake. {notice I said plural, lol}
    You know, several of the major issues while those in individual states keep track of that legislation.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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