Illegal Immigrants should have the right to get a driver’s license

(Anibal Santos)

Phil Vogel

On Oct. 3,  California Governor Jerry Brown approved and signed into law bill AB 60, allowing illegal immigrants to apply for and obtain drivers licenses.

Illegal immigrants who are going to drive anyway, should go to the DMV and get their licenses like everyone else. They should have to pass a driving test, and take driving lessons. They should have to purchase insurance so the people hit by them will have recourse. They should have to pay registration fees, so the state can profit off of their privilege of driving. Otherwise we have a large population of immobile people who will use our education and healthcare systems and largely will be unable to contribute to our society.

The government and most private demographers estimate that around 11 million illegal aliens are currently living in the United States. Slate.com estimates that over 2.5 million undocumented persons live in California alone, and make up almost 10 percent of the workforce.

Illegal immigration is a problem in the United States, just as an influx of undocumented residents would be in any society. Common problems associated with large amounts of people entering a country without record, include employment, education, healthcare and, in this day and age, national security problems.

In 2010, the state of Arizona signed SB 1070 into law. The law gave law enforcement the right to inquire about a person’s residency status during routine traffic stop. A year later, Georgia and Alabama passed harsh immigration bills designed to dissuade illegal immigrants from working in the aforementioned states, especially in agriculture.

It seemed as if the national trend would be to crack down hard on immigration.  Then a funny thing happened. Rational Americans started to realize that the laws being passed were a really stupid idea.

For the 2011 spring and summer harvests in Georgia, there was an 11,000 man shortage to pick crops such as onions and watermelons. Shockingly, Americans, including ones who pushed for stricter immigration laws, did not want to work as migrant farmer day laborers. In the state of Arizona, which has a 30 percent Hispanic population, 3rd and 4th generation Latino Americans did not want to be harassed and questioned about their legality.

Realizing the folly of previous policies, by June 2013, 10 states had already passed laws allowing illegal aliens to apply for driver’s licenses and a further 11 were actively considering such laws.

The reality of the situation is that it is in everyone’s best interest if the illegal immigrants already here can contribute to our society. The reality of the situation is that illegal immigrants provide labor in jobs that Americans not only don’t want to do, but wouldn’t do for any realistic competitive wage.

Illegal immigrants can apply for licenses in California, for the same reason people can see prostitutes in Nevada: Regulation, Safety, and State Income. I am a supporter of the strictest laws possible to force illegal immigrants to comply and legally get a license. They should be subjugated to strict criminal penalties for failing to do so.

There are the laws of man, and the laws of nature. In nature, my sweet little red 1993 Nissan 240SX convertible could go 120 MPH down the Pacific Coast Highway. According to the laws of man I would get a big-ass ticket.

We live in the most affluent country in the world, the opportunities that we are given as American citizens are unique. According to the laws of men, these rights as Americans citizens are reserved only to American citizens. To the south are countries who do not share our financial situation or employment opportunities.

They are filled with highly motivated unskilled workers, who are willing to leave home for many years at a time to support their families. They are willing to work degrading jobs for minimal wages. They are willing to live in substandard conditions, so they can take care of the people they love.

They are not criminals, and anyone who treats them as such must question their empathy. The great psychologist Sigmund Freud once was asked “what makes men happy?” He replied “To work and to love”, this self-actualization is shared by all men, no matter what language they speak, or where they were born.

We can fight the laws of nature, but we will never win. A smart society can compromise. Giving illegal immigrants the right to apply for a drivers license is that compromise.

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