LAPD: Vehicle Impounds Are Too Much Hassle For Illegal Aliens


It’s a real bummer when you’re an illegal alien, driving without a license, and your car gets impounded.  That can just ruin your whole day.  Luckily, the Los Angeles Police Department is working to make things easier on the unlicensed and undocumented, as reported by the L.A. Times:

Unlicensed drivers without prior convictions would be given the chance to avoid having their vehicles impounded under new rules outlined Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The proposed changes to the impound procedures are a potentially explosive issue because LAPD Chief Charlie Beck designed the reforms to remedy what he believes is the unfair burden that impounds place on illegal immigrants. Since immigrants who are in the country illegally cannot get driver’s licenses in California and most other states, they make up the majority of the drivers who have their cars impounded for the infraction.

Beck contends that the hundreds of dollars in fees and fines that must be paid to retrieve an impounded car and the disruption to illegal immigrants’ often tenuous hold on jobs deal a disproportionate blow to people “who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources.”

I swear to you that I am not making this up.  Follow the link.  It’s a real L.A. Times story.  Wait, it gets better, as Chief Beck clarifies his reasoning:

In an interview Tuesday, Beck amplified his position: “It’s a fairness issue. There is a vast difference between someone driving without a license because they cannot legally be issued one and someone driving after having their license revoked.”

To correct this hideous inequity, the new rules will allow unlicensed drivers to keep their vehicles, provided someone with a valid license shows up to drive the car away.  I am still not making this up.

The police union is strongly opposed to the plan, which they see as “an effort to score political points through reforms the union warns could hurt public safety.”  Their position is supported by studies that show unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes, and roughly 14% of those involved in fatal crashes did not have valid licenses. 

A few other holes in this wise and compassionate “call a buddy to get your death-mobile back” policy also came up at city council meetings:

Commissioner Alan Skobin suggested that owners who repeatedly allow unlicensed drivers to use their cars, not just drivers, should be held accountable. He urged Beck to expand the plan to include instructions that officers impound cars that have been impounded previously.

Skobin also questioned how the department plans to identify and keep track of repeat offenders who avoid detection by giving police different names each time they are stopped.

So the rule, as currently proposed, would impose no greater inconvenience upon the owners of a vehicle that has been repeatedly impounded?  Brilliant!

This is but one of the many ways in which the inherent contradictions of our bloated local and national governments are causing them to become psychotic.  We have fairly strict rules about driving – soon states might be adding even more, to forbid the use of cell phones while behind the wheel.  Losing your license is meant to be a severe penalty, imposed in the interests of public safety.

On the other hand, the government, at nearly every level, is absolutely hell-bent on ignoring immigration law.  This ideological commitment trumps even the overbearing public health and safety concerns that produce thousands of regulations and cost us billions of dollars.  Thus, a government of laws – great big moldy piles of them – is obliged to concoct increasingly deranged justifications for ignoring the laws it doesn’t like, even when these rationales explicitly violate its other stated priorities.

I have a suggestion for the city of Los Angeles: if you want to enhance public safety, how about impounding the living daylights out of those cars, checking the immigration status of dangerous unlicensed drivers, and giving them a one-way trip across the border if they’re illegal aliens?  Then you could sell the impounded cars to cover the cost of deportation.  Be sure to check the license and immigration status of whoever shows up at auction to buy the cars.