When I turned sixteen, I was devastated. Instead of running to the DMV and grabbing my driver’s license, I was included in the first wave of teenagers under a new Pennsylvania law.
This safety-conscious mandate required young people to carry a learner’s permit for at least six months, have an adult over the age of 21 in the car and, in most cases, log over 50 hours of driving time.
Even though I waited out every grueling minute, here’s some advice for those who cannot wait any longer: move to California.
All you have to do is prove you live there. And here’s the catch – it doesn’t even have to be legal.
As if California wasn’t in enough chaos, Governor Gray Davis recently signed a bill allowing two million illegal immigrants the right to obtain a state driver’s license.
This cheap attempt by Davis for publicity and political gain makes a mockery of our national security issues. As an American, I’m heated.
As a teenager who had to go through a stone wall to drive, I’m irate.
Thankfully, so is Colorado Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo, also the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, has countered with the State Accountability and Identity Fraud Elimination Act. (SAIFE)
Even though it is ultimately up to each state to decide whether or not to issue licenses to illegal immigrants, the SAIFE bill aims to financially damage any state that does so by withholding federal funding.
Under the proposal by Tancredo, states would lose 5 percent of their federal highway funds starting in 2005.
This decrease in funding would then increase every year until 2011, where it would finally reach 25 percent.
However, California Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mulholland has publicly criticized Tancredo’s proposal, stating, “This was the law in this state when Ronald Reagan was governor, and these Republican bums never went to repeal it. The Republicans never miss an opportunity to bash Latinos; that’s the Republican Party.”
Granted, the majority of immigrants entering California are Latinos, but that is no reason to play the race card once again.
The proposal to repeal Davis’ efforts targets only one minority group – those consciously breaking the law in this country.
Just as Congressman Tancredo realizes, our country should not make it easier for immigrants to break the laws of this land, and we should not even consider rewarding their efforts to enter the country illegally.
“A driver’s license is the closest thing we have to a national I.D., and when you give it to people who are here illegally, even if there is some sort of validity to the identification process, it is still doing something that provides illegal immigrants an opportunity to live in this country,” Tancredo said.
However, California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres disagrees with the fact that California has simply stooped too low.
“He [Davis] isn’t weakening the standards.
He’s increasing the standards. I think the Congressman needs to read the legislation, and quite frankly needs to pay a little closer attention to what is required.
You not only have to have more identification, a military I.D. card and other information before you get a driver’s license under this bill, but also thumbprints are going to be required of every person who applies for a driver’s license,” Torres said.
Not only are we putting the key to freedom in the palm of two million illegal aliens’ hands, the best security feature California can come up with in the post 9-11 era is thumbprints.
Come to think of it, I wish Pennsylvania had thought of that.
Brandon Lausch can be reached at Goskateboarding2000@hotmail.com.