Fast Lane to Disaster

Our Great Nation and the Empire State were built by the labor of immigrants. America has a long and proud history of bringing the diverse people of the world together, and forging the greatest country in the world. However, that tradition is being put at risk by those who fail to understand that our success as a State and Nation depends on our unflinching dedication to the law.

New York is currently embroiled in a debate which will have a huge impact on our future. While there are ever-changing proposals being put forth, all of them are built on one premise — the premise of rewarding individuals who are here ILLEGALLY.

Governor Eliott Spitzer unleashed a firestorm of controversy earlier this year when he proposed giving drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens. His arguments were that since there were so many illegal immigrants here, and the State couldn’t return the illegal aliens to their respective homelands, that we should grant them driver’s licenses while here. He and his appointees have argued that driving in New York State is more of a right than a privilege. A right to which everyone is entitled.

Driving is a privilege. Privileges are earned, not given. While Governor Spitzer keeps changing the provisions of his plan to give illegal immigrants licenses, the one consistent fact is that the Governor is committed to giving a privilege to individuals who have not earned it.

Illegal is Illegal. My Mother and Father were both Irish immigrants who went through the process of naturalization. The commitment to that process, and what it stood for, helped them to obtain their piece of the American Dream.

The Governor’s proposal is an insult to every immigrant who came here and did the right thing by going through the legal process. Governor Spitzer also fails to recognize that several states which have offered licenses to illegal immigrants have reversed that policy. Tennessee and North Carolina, besieged by illegal aliens seeking validation, changed their policies and stopped issuing licenses to illegal immigrants.

While other states are working to ensure that they are issuing licenses to citizens and legal immigrants, New York has continued to ignore this trend. During days when we need to be vigilant against terrorist sleeper cells, and when millions of dollars are being lost to identity theft, New York seems be giving illegal immigrants a blank check. This blank check can be used for almost anything ranging from access to social services to state universities. However, what very few people are even mentioning is how this policy of issuing drivers’ licenses can be used to erode the very foundation upon which our Democracy is built — voting.

It is no secret that driver’s licenses are particularly valuable to illegal aliens since they are largely accepted as proof of identity.

Drivers’ licenses are the key to a secure job and all the other necessities to a quality life in America. However, in many cases, the driver’s license is also the key to the voting booth. In fact, officials at the New York Board of Elections concede that Governor Spitzer’s license plan could make it more difficult for them to combat voter fraud.

In New York state it is the local boards of elections which determine who can and cannot vote. The State Board of Elections readily admits that it is unusual for the local boards to check on a persons legal status, particularly if they a have driver’s license. If New York State gives illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses, then DMV, and their vendors, would become a point of access for Motor Voter registration, the law of the land, thus exponentially increasing the potential for fraud. It is well known that DMV and Motor Voter are responsible for hundreds of thousands of new voters every year.

Americans should appreciate what made this nation great in the first place — our rule of law and our people. Nobody in this debate is discussing our immigrants at all. Our legal immigrants deserve rights and privileges because they followed the law. Every year, people come to this country legally. In fact many legal immigrants have waited months or years to get approval to move here. However, others break the law by overstaying on legally granted visas or a host of other means.

Governor Spitzer should not allow potential terrorists to be given drivers’ licenses. We should also consider that this proposal could encourage identity theft by issuing drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens.

Most of all we need to realize that the issuing of drivers’ licenses to those who are here illegally could increase voter fraud by making it easier to vote. It all comes down to the fact that Governor Spitzer should start using some common sense.