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Undocumented immigrants may soon get Md. driver’s licenses

ANNAPOLIS — Andrea Gonzales is the only licensed driver in her family of three, so for her, a weekday morning means waking up at 5:30 to shuttle her husband to work with their 5-year-old daughter in tow.

The new Maryland Highway Safety Act may change her family’s routine by allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Gonzales’s husband, Jaime, an undocumented immigrant from Nicaragua, can’t legally drive to pick up their daughter, Ana, from school at 3 p.m. Instead, the couple hired a babysitter to transport and care for Ana on most afternoons.

“My husband, we are working on getting him legalized, but until then I still need him to help me with the responsibilities,” Gonzales, of Silver Spring, said. “Our family needs him to be able to depend on himself, not to depend on me for everything.”

If Jaime had a driver’s license, Gonzales said, he could spend afternoons with his daughter, help her with homework, and get her ready for bed.

Set for a Wednesday hearing in Annapolis, the Maryland House bill and its companion bill in the Senate would repeal a provision of a 2009 law that prohibits people without Social Security numbers or lawful presence documents from renewing or obtaining driver’s licenses.

Licenses for undocumented drivers would carry a label, “Not for federal use,” preventing license holders from boarding planes or entering federal buildings.

The bill would also prevent all such licenses issued before 2009 from expiring in 2015 as state law now mandates.

Gonzalez, who testified at the Feb. 20 Senate hearing on the bill, plans to testify at Wednesday’s House hearing as well.

“Most surprising was all the support from the non-immigrant community,” Shola Ajayi, elections and advocacy specialist at Casa de Maryland, said of last month’s hearing.

He added that the bill would not only apply to illegal immigrants, but also to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who lack the documents necessary to obtain a license.

Members of Help Save Maryland, an anti-immigrant organization, also plan to testify at the House hearing.

“We will be coming out in force against this bill,” said Help Save Maryland Director Brad Botwin, who contends that the legislation will make Maryland a magnet for illegal immigrants and put additional stress on Maryland’s social services.

In 2009, several states including Maryland put in place federal Real ID Act regulations requiring the Motor Vehicle Administration to verify the identity and legal status of all license applicants. The new Maryland legislation would repeal those MVA limitations.

Washington, New Mexico and Illinois are among the states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Del. Jolene Ivey, D-Prince George’s, said policy in these other states helped inform her decision to push for the change.

For many people without proper documentation, driving without a license may be the only option, so it is practical to require those drivers to meet basic driving standards, said Ivey, lead bill sponsor.

“A lot of people simply are in a position where they can’t get around without a car. Not everybody has public transportation available. Legally they’re not supposed to drive, but we know that with the way their current situation is set up, it’s really hard to avoid,” she said.

Undocumented drivers seeking licenses will be required to meet the same MVA standards required of all drivers: a written test and an on-road driving skills test.

Botwin called Ivey “one of the worst delegates in Annapolis” whose bill was a “continued effort of her pandering to CASA of Maryland and the illegal immigrants in Prince George’s County.”

He has charged that road safety is compromised by the fact that Maryland’s written driving test can be taken in Spanish, yet street signs across the state are labeled in English.

But the Maryland Department of Transportation shares Ivey’s views that the enactment of the bill will have a positive impact on highway safety in part by ensuring that more vehicle operators can have on-file driving records.

“Licensing these individuals allows the Motor Vehicle Administration to track their driving histories and to address safety problems or concerns through administrative action taken against the driver’s license,” the Department of Transportation said in statement.

“People who think it’s some kind of danger to Maryland, I think that’s ridiculous,” Ivey said of the bill’s implications.

But Botwin argues that the danger lies in setting a precedent for the future.

“It empowers the illegal alien community to keep pushing for more and more,” he said.

Gonzales, though, said that reducing the chance of her family’s separation is a worthwhile cause.

“I think the biggest risk is my husband driving without a license. My fear is that something could happen to him. He could get arrested, and we don’t want our family separated,” she said. “We have a 5 year old [who] we are raising together, and we want to continue to do that.”

3 comments

  1. If she has a problem with the law of being illegal she should go back to Mexico.

  2. See it pays to break the law in O’Malleyland. The are NOT undocumented immigrants, they broke the law sneaking into the US. What if the police decided to call a thief who breaks into your house an, “Univited Guest”?

  3. ANOTHER INCREDULOUS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LIE?

    Why is President Obama, and all those elected to Democratic posts, using the “Sequester” to incredulously cut a whole list of issues in sacrificing such major combinations as military hardware, benefits to servicemen such as cuts to tuition for soldiers, assistance for homeless veterans, closing hospitality tours to the White House, cuts to air traffic controllers and now the Border Patrol budgets. This is especially heinous, when foreign nationals who stole into this country through areas of the border undermanned and mostly unguarded where there is no barrier, other than hundreds of miles badly weather-beaten rusty barbed wire that restricts nothing and certainly not a determined movement illegal aliens, drug smuggler or even terrorists. Why are we severing all these benefits, but low income people (illegal aliens) are collecting on food stamps, free medical treatments, and a combination of freebies, for their children; arriving under the cloak of a family visiting Disneyland or Washington DC on a jet plane from Europe, Asia or any nation and then disappearing into the United State when there is no way to track them. Having no significant punishment for the first illegal entry, illegal aliens have promulgated throughout this country, with no existent prohibitions.

    The Sequester has been carefully engineered by the administration to cause the most alarm, to scare the most easily susceptible general populace.

    From the time of the first major enforcement law in 1986, called the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), that was entirely collusion between the U.S. Business complex, Agriculture and a whole bunch of less visible organizations and entities, which had the financial ear of those, involved in implementing its policies, were intentionally made less than effectual. Since the fraudulent aspect of that major amnesty each inept administration has been presumed to be protecting the American people, but if you picture the whole development only when there has been the emotional voice from the public audience. Nothing has passed scrutiny since the 1986 (IRCA) law was in place, because nobody has trusted any administration to do the right thing? There has been too much pandering to ethnic majorities to steal the vote. Ask why and then realize that smuggled children become instant citizens and thereby the Mother can caste her net over the citizen’s benefits available to her, including Section 8 housing if she starts bearing more and more children. As part of citizen’s entitlement programs for the low income, the prize is around $600.00 per infant, compliments of the American taxpayer. Now having a place to live the family across the border or in another country, has a place to live, get an illegal job, with no competition from an American worker, because the dishonest employer doesn’t care. His bottom line is profit and will depend on the poor enforcement and a fine, instead of being whisked away to jail. A majority knows exactly what they are doing and use enterprising attorney’s to find loopholes in the visa system, so immigrants they sponsor are less than genuine the cream of (Stem) Scientists, Technology, Engineers and Mathematician employees.

    In 2006 Former President Bush commissioned a design for a solid, double layer fence to reach from California to Texas, which would have stayed many of the illegal entries across our Southern border. Two fences with a fast track lane for the rapid movement of U.S. Border Patrol vehicles. The interior fence would be fortified as many outside prison enclosures consisting of heavy chain link fence attired with concertina razor wire. Unlike the miserable one structure fencing we have at this time, which was secretly underfunded and even today far from finished. The current singular main strength is in heavily populated areas, but once outside the different Border Patrol sectors it dwindles away and easily circumvented by foreign people.

    KGBT-TV — Harlingen, Texas — March 11
    Rancher says Border Patrol budget cuts are stab in the back
    As Washington struggles to find a solution to the federal budget cuts in the recent sequester, the U.S. Border Patrol has begun to cut back, and the numbers are already beginning show immigrants are taking advantage of it.
    Border Patrol stats leaked to our newsroom show the RGV sector detained almost twice as many immigrants in February as they did in January.
    While Border Patrol agents will likely lose overtime and face up to 14 furlough days, one south Texas rancher says he’s going to lose too, security he depends on.
    Just 4.5 miles north of the Falfurrias checkpoint, Mike and Linda Vickers live on a 1,000 acre ranch in Brooks County.
    When Mike moved to the ranch in the 1980′s he says he would see about two or three immigrants crossing his property each week.
    Today he sees about 20 or 30 a day, tearing up his fences, breaking water pipes, some even breaking into his house.
    “The fences are cut, the properties trashed out,” Mike said. “We have traffic absolutely every day, big groups, small groups.”

    The border gets more dangerous each day and we are supposed to believe the lies of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano or United States Attorney General Eric Holder and their collection of un-American minions and Liberal Progressive minions, who have obviously lost their credibility to most of us. While the raging gun laws preoccupy the thought of the Obama administration, the ugly incidence of “Fast and Furious” gun running to Mexico has petered-out. Each day illegal alien’s slip across the wide range of the border, and this accelerate in the coming months, with recognizing that they have a good chance of being added to the 11 million to 25 million plus, who could be granted citizenship. We should not forget that why hundreds of thousands await a working visa, others see a much easier alternative of just buying an airline ticket, to what they expect is a new future for them and the rest of their family circle. Either overstays of illegal immigrants or migrants from across the border are already versed in our immigration laws and ready to cheat the honest people. ? After the so called immigration reform package, we should ALL be issued with a federal photo ID identification card with a thumb print and retinal scans must be part of the new law. Every year 100 billion dollars slip through taxpayers fingers, because the corrupt scoundrels in the D.C. power house represent big business and are pandering to illegal aliens. A real double layer fence as the 2006 Secure Fence Act also must be compulsory.

    Just building the real fencing is not the most important barrier to illegal immigration, but the people must speak up for internal enforcement as SAVE ACT, with a provision of the E-Verify, which carries the notorious label to businesses that insist of using cheap labor. Easily accessible on any computer E-Verify distinguishes between an unauthorized worker and a citizen or legal resident who has been inspected. Of course the most controversial issue is a change in our 14th amendment, to stop illegal alien women bringing in undetected fetuses to gain citizenship for the baby. This by far, is the greatest expense to our nation that ranges in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually in this unethical new citizenship source of which the consequences is sequence of events of the current DREAM ACT, FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, THEN SANCTUARY CITY POLICIES that ICE AGENTS ARE ORDERED NOT TO TOUCH. THEN EVENTUALLY A VISA BEING ISSUED FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND THOSE ILLEGAL PERSONS ARE NO LONGER DEPORTABLE.

    ALL AMERICANS Should sign a petition against the Gang of Eight’s scheme and other nonchalant lawmakers who are in disagreement with the 23 million unemployed Americans at: NumberUSA If you really want your voice counted write a letter to your congressman (a screener will read it and tally up the letters ‘for’ and ‘against’) so you don’t have to fret about being persuasive since all the congressman hears is an amount of letters). Phone calls are better, but here you need to be rational and not an embarrassing tirade. YOU can also contact every Representative demanding no Amnesty and no Path to Citizenship at 202) 224-3121, the Central Washington switchboard. LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR BORDER AND INVESTIGATE EVERYTHING AT AMERICANPATROL.

    No copyright. Tell America.

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