Licenses Don't Belong in Illegals' Hands

A lot of changes have been taking place in North Carolina over the past few years. Did anyone happen to notice that the illegal immigration population in North Carolina jumped 43% in 2004? That’s almost double what it was just one year ago. We now have the eighth largest population of undocumented immigrants in the United States. That’s right, over 300,000 illegal immigrants now reside in North Carolina. Is it because of our temperate climate? Our beautiful scenery? Not likely.

Illegal immigrants are flocking to our beloved state because we are handing out driver’s licenses with the ease of movie tickets or grocery coupons. We don’t seem to ask for any kind of real identification when applying for a license. We don’t ask for a social security number, and we do not require any kind of proof that the person applying is a citizen. Therefore, it is an easy task for an illegal immigrant to obtain fake documents here in North Carolina, and many are moving here to do just that.

What does a driver’s license do for an illegal immigrant?

At best, it legitimizes their status to prospective employers, to law enforcement, and to any other institution that uses a driver’s license as universal identification. They can now present a very real license, and few would ever know it was not legal. It enables them to keep their illegal status hidden effectively from the rest of the world, for a much longer period of time. At worst, it provides a deadly terrorist with a key to access dangerous areas by obtaining employment in and around those areas. We saw this last April, when 27 illegal immigrants were arrested while working as airplane mechanics at the Piedmont Triad International Airport at Greensboro. All had been issued driver’s licenses. All were repairing planes. Is someone not making a connection here?

The good news is that this problem is easily solved. Anyone applying for a driver’s license in North Carolina must be made to provide a social security number and two other forms of identification. There is absolutely no reason not to.

And while we’re at it, we should end the practice of allowing non-state employees to serve as interpreters for licensing tests, and most certainly end the practice of allowing those interpreters to give answers to applicants. Someone has clearly forgotten the concept of taking a test here. Neither of these practices gives our DMV much credibility. We’re better off without them.

An illegal immigrant should not possess a legal driver’s license. I understand that many take a sympathetic stand on illegal immigration, and want to help these people find a better life than what they had in their own country. I understand, but we also must obey our own laws and protect our own citizens from fraud and endangerment. We cannot turn a blind eye to these practices any longer. The American public could forgive Virginia for the licenses issued to the men who flew the planes into the twin towers. We had never experienced anything like that before. How will the American public feel if it happens again, and this time we knew and did nothing?