Granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants would continue under Senate bill

By Ilana Kowarski

Maryland drivers license sample.A bill continuing Maryland’s practice of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants received preliminary approval from state senators Friday, paving the way for a final vote on the legislation.

This Senate legislation was sponsored by Sen. Victor Ramirez, D-Prince George’s, a longtime advocate for Maryland’s immigrant community who sponsored the bill allowing state residents to receive in-state tuition regardless of their immigration status. That bill passed in last year’s referendum.

Ramirez is once again facing resistance for his pro-immigrant policies from Republicans who argue that illegal immigrants should not receive the benefits of citizenship.

Senate Minority Leader E.J Pipkin, R-Upper Shore, said on Friday that Maryland will become a “safe haven” and “magnet” for illegal immigrants if the state does not stop giving them licenses.

Maryland currently distributes second-class licenses to those who cannot prove that they are legal residents, but that practice will stop unless the General Assembly repeals a statute that prohibits the distribution of licenses to illegal immigrants after July 1, 2015.

Responding to federal law

The General Assembly enacted this statute in 2009 in response to the REAL ID Act, which required states to verify the citizenship of driver’s license applicants before giving them a standard license.  Right now, illegal immigrants may obtain a special license which is marked “not to be used for federal purposes,” meaning that the licenses cannot be used to board an aircraft but may be used to drive a car.  However, these licenses cannot be issued or renewed after July 2015 unless state laws are changed.

Ramirez’s proposed law, SB715, and its cross-filed bill, HB789, would continue this special license program indefinitely, and his fellow Democrats say that this is appropriate, because unlicensed and uninsured drivers are a danger to everyone on the roads. They argue that the best policy is to encourage illegal immigrants to get licenses so that they can be trained, tested, and insured before they start driving.

Senate Judicial Proceedings Chair Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, made this argument, saying that there were compelling public safety reasons for giving licenses to illegal immigrants who drive.

“We can reduce the problems they create by requiring them to pass the driving test,” Frosh said.

Pipkin said that he strongly disagreed with this line of reasoning.  “Let me get this straight,” he said.  “They’re here illegally, and they’re driving without a license and without insurance.  Do you really think we should reward that behavior?”

2 thoughts on “Granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants would continue under Senate bill

  • March 26, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Any proposed reform that does not include mandatory jail terms for employers of illegal aliens will be a complete failure just as the ’86 Amnesty was a failure.

    Every day that an illegal alien is allowed to work is another day that taxpayers are forced to support a law abiding family that was forced into unemployment and poverty when the illegals under bid the legal workers for jobs.

    The penalty for employers of illegal workers should be mandatory $15,000 fine per illegal worker and mandatory 2 years in jail without parole per illegal worker. That would put an immediate end to the problem.

    That is ALL the reform we need.

  • March 25, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Countries
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Towns
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Neighbourhoods
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Schools
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White Anything
    Anti-Whites say there should be no White people

    No one asks that of ANY non-White country. Immigration and forced-assimilation is for ALL & ONLY White countries.

    Anti-Whites call themselves “anti-racist”, but their words & actions lead to the genocide of only one group: White people.

    The true goal of anti-racism is to genocide my people.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

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