By Jim Kouri
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) surge in giving driver’s licenses to up to 1.5 million illegal immigrants, a/k/a undocumented immigrants in current Golden State “newspeak,” is disturbing to many law enforcement officers, according to news reports on Wednesday. Police officials are very concerned with this latest policy, so much so that a homeland security newsletter on Thursday had begun covering what many believe is just one more magnet for illegal immigrants from terrorist havens throughout the world who pose a danger to the U.S. and Americans.
In January 2015, California began allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain the same driver’s licenses as legal immigrants and citizens. Police officers claim that there are tens of thousands of immigrants who stand on long lines at DMV centers throughout the state and their licenses not only allow them to drive vehicles but also double as identification for conducting many personal and business transactions.
According to Police Officer Jose Cardoza, this latest action by the Californian politicians is another benefit in a long line of other state benefits such as free healthcare, food stamps, and sanctuary from federal law enforcement who seek their deportation. In addition, in California “undocumented immigrants” in the state are allowed to practice law or dentistry, among other licensed professions.
“How they can do that if they are undocumented is a travesty on its face. If these guys are undocumented how do you know they’re really graduates for accredited universities or law schools? How do know the name on a diploma is the name of the person showing it to you?” asked Officer Cardoza.
“California now allows children from low-income undocumented families to receive subsidized health care, and lawmakers are considering allowing undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance through the state’s public exchange. A bill now before the legislature would give agricultural workers permits and protect them from deportation, although deportation of undocumented immigrants has been dealt with at the federal level. A suburb of Los Angeles will this week appoint undocumented immigrants to two unpaid advisory board positions,” states the Homeland Security Newswire on Thursday.
California DMV officials concede that more than half of the driver’s licenses issued are received by illegal aliens. They say that of the 883,000 licenses issued so far in 2015, at least 443,000 were issued to men and women living in the U.S. illegally. These officials — who are encouraged to expedite the applications of illegal immigrants — estimate that by the end of 2017, the DMV will have issued at least 1.5 million driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in the state, but many believe the numbers are being downplayed.
Besides cops and security officials, there are civilians who complain that this latest policy is in direct contradiction of federal immigration policies. Californians for Population Stabilization director, Joseph Guzzardi, who heads a group calling for restricting immigration, told reporters that the new policy “creates even more of a magnet in what is already basically a sanctuary state…. These are very tangible rewards to people who have knowingly and willingly violated the law.”
California isn’t the only state that offers driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, but surveys claim there is less citizen support for such policies in those states. For example, in Connecticut, authorities expected only about 54,000 applications for driver’s licenses from illegal aliens within the next three years, but found out close to that number — about 50,000 — hurried into local Motor Vehicle Service offices to apply in the first six months. That ended up causing more complaints from residents about long lines and delays.
A recent report on legal and illegal immigrant based on figures from the United States Census Bureau shows that there are more than 42 million non-citizens living in the United States, a number that is far from increasing. According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) the growing number of immigrants is a result by Mexicans, Hondurans, Salvadorans and others flooding across the U.S. border. In fact, the Obama administration has actually been picking up immigrants in their home countries and flying them into the United States, in essence, breaking U.S. law.
Jim Kouri, CPP, the fifth Vice President and Public Information Officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, has served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.