Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Driving me loco

Leaps of logic, Conservative Cajun style:

1) If illegal aliens are caught driving without a license, they should be punished.

2) States should deny driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

3) Therefore, illegal aliens shall always be punished. Tsk tsk!

Now I understand that various documents are necessary to obtain a driver's license, and that many illegal immigrants would not have such things. Fine. But if they do - and as long as they're in our country and on our roads anyway - why shouldn't we let illegal aliens have driver's licenses? Denying them such doesn't protect against terrorism (Mohamed Atta had a valid Florida driver's license, with no falsified information), but it does give law enforcement a convenient excuse to nail an entire group of people. It sounds like something Boss Hogg would do on a bad episode of The Dukes of Hazzard.

You know who else had valid driver's licenses? Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Charles Manson and Ted Kaczynski. Citizens. And, in Rudolph's case at least, the only reason we ever tracked him down.

Enforcement of immigration laws should be about protecting us from dangerous people, not about setting up Catch-22s for the amusement of an increasingly xenophobic nation.


Nick said...

My logic makes perfectly good sense to me.

Illegal aliens should not be here. They broke laws coming here. Why reward them with a driver's license.

Meanwhile, people should be punished for driving without a license.

Hence, a way to not accomidate people who break our immigration laws.

Lets look at it this way as well. Illegal aliens should not be granted legal identification documents. Employers should be punished for hiring someone without proper documentation.

Therefore, employers who hire illegal aliens should always be punished.

Ian McGibboney said...

I think we should do all we can to rectify the illegal situation as much as possible. Illegal immigration is not going away, and denying them licenses and other documents only keeps them below the grid and at the mercy of the employers that we both agree should not be hiring them at slave wages.

Immigration policy should not be based on vindictiveness, i.e., "You're here illegally, so no services for you." Instead, we should allow for at least some accountability on their part so we know who is here. A license in an illegal's hand makes for one more person we know about within our borders.

Huck said...

"Immigration policy should not be based on vindictiveness"

You are exactly right, Ian. And nick, all his bluster about "legality" cannot hide the fact that he just doesn't care for illegal migrants because they're illegal and they're foreign. Hiding behind the legality argument masks a xenophobia that is ever-present. You make this a good point when you mention all the other home-grown domestic terrorists we've seen.

I've always argued that sensible reform to deal with immigrants currently hiding out in the shadows of our society is to incentivize their coming out of the shadows. Threatening them with punishment and a deportation that could mean the ruin of their families and threaten their survival is not the way to go. Giving them a driver's license doesn't allow them to work, but it does give US authorities a way to track them and also a means to ensure that they have some minimum knowledge of driving protocols that keep our roads safer than they normally would be without licenses.

Nick said...

"And nick, all his bluster about "legality" cannot hide the fact that he just doesn't care for illegal migrants because they're illegal and they're foreign."

Hey idiot, you don't know me so you might want to refrain from such statements as I don't care about illegals b/c their foreign.

Huck said...

Well, nick, first of all, the word "foreign" means not being from the United States. That little bit of information is a critical component of your "driver's license logic," whether you want to recognize it or not. I don't hear you arguing that we shouldn't be giving domestic lawbreakers a driver's license. Using your "driver's license logic" one might ask why we should reward illegal acts committed by US citizens with a driver's license? Isn't that what you're saying? That some folks broke the law coming into the U.S. so they shouldn't be rewarded with a driver's license? The irrefutable fact is that you don't want to reward them with a driver's license because they broke the law and they happen to be foreign. The day you argue that domestic lawbreakers shouldn't have the right to get a driver's license is the day I start to believe that your gripe about illegal immigrants is not just that they are illegal, but also that they are not from the U.S. (i.e. foreign).

And let's remember that a driver's license is used to certify one's ability to drive safely and well and in accordance with the rules that govern our conduct of motor vehicles on our public roads. It is not now, and never was, a referendum on citizenship status.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy. Another Eric Rudolph comparison.