Illegal immigrants should be able to obtain driver’s license

Quentin Ikuta

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Honking, speeding, stop and go traffic, pedestrians and never ending dangers make driving in California dangerous. Now there is a whole new group of dangerous, foreign, uninsured drivers on the road. Illegal immigrants should be able to obtain a license in the United States to correct this problem.

On Oct. 3, California Governor Jerry Brown, joining 10 other states, signed a law that will enable illegal or undocumented immigrants to apply for a drivers license. The law passed with a majority of Republican support, and is expected to take effect starting in 2015.

Letting illegal immigrants take to the road with a legal license, may sound worse than it really is. Not only will this reduce accidents, it will also increase the overall number of people that purchase auto insurance.

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By Clara Ilkka

California is home to 25 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated that there are currently at least 2.83 million or more illegal immigrants living in California. About 38 percent of California’s population are of Hispanic descent, consequently there is much concern regarding immigrant issues.

There has been controversy surrounding the fact that if illegal immigrants receive a driver’s license, it will be very challenging to figure out if they are in fact illegal, creating a very difficult situation for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As there are obvious risks of giving immigrants a form of I.D., the licenses will include only “driving privileges”, and will not serve as a form of valid identification for voting or to receive certain government benefits. Also, to comply with federal law, the license must indicate that the owner of the I.D. has not presented a birth certificate or Social Security card.

That being said, the issuing of I.D. for more immigrants, illegal or legal, may decrease identity theft and fraud, and make it easier to target illegal immigrants due to the special marking on the licenses.

“As Americans, we need to find compassionate, caring solutions to this immigration challenge,” said San Diego County Assemblyman Brian Jones. “The first challenge is to secure our borders. The second challenge is to find a way for people to have legal status.”

Although giving illegal immigrants the right to obtain a drivers license may lead to less accidents and less crime, it may be a recipe for disaster. With more drivers on the road, including potentially unskilled Hispanic drivers, there will likely be more crime and accidents.

Illegal immigrants have been granted driving rights in California, and 10 other states in efforts to reduce accidents and hit and runs. Although there are obvious precautions needed, the ability to acquire a driver’s license as an illegal immigrant could prove to be beneficial. Americans that think illegal immigrants should be able to obtain a driver’s license in their state should contact their local senator and express their opinion.

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