THIS is mind-boggling:
When a bill that would allow immigrants in the United States illegally to obtain limited driving privileges cleared the House Finance Committee Tuesday morning, Gregorio Morales and Carmen Rodriguez were among the folks sitting in the back of the room smiling.
Yeah. I’d smile too if I’ve been granted services from the state while openly breaking the law. MORE:
Morales, who is originally from Mexico, has lived in the United States for 17 years – seven of those in North Carolina – and would be one of the people lining up for the new identity cards if House Bill 328 becomes law.
“I am a small-business owner. I have a landscape company,” Morales said shortly after the vote. He and his five employees would all benefit from the bill, he said.
How is that small business legal? If he’s NOT a citizen, he has no social security number. Is he paying taxes? Is he withholding taxes from employees like the rest of us? Is he adhering to all of these OSHA, Department of Labor regs the rest of us are bombarded with? (DOUBT it.) MORE:
[…] “When you’re driving without a license, you always feel fear,” he said.
Rodriguez said she routinely drives without a license and without insurance to get her three children to school and herself to a job.
“I drive with fear. My kids are scared of police officers,” Rodriguez said through an interpreter.[…]
I bet they ARE scared of the cops when they know mamacita is running around violating all kinds of laws in a foreign country. HOW are the kids enrolling in school without any kind of legal ID or social security numbers or that kind of thing? MORE:
[…] House Bill 328 would create a “restricted ID” for undocumented residents in North Carolina that would look different from a standard driver’s license. People obtaining one of the permits would need to undergo fingerprinting and background checks and prove their identity. Driving privileges would be attached to the restricted ID once applicants pass a state driving test and obtain liability insurance coverage.
While the bill cleared committee on a 22-11 vote, the measure is controversial, splitting Republicans in the House who are divided between encouraging people who are on the road anyway to get insurance and those who say the state should not provide public benefits to undocumented workers.
“What we want to do in this undocumented community is to separate those who are engaged in criminal activity from those who otherwise are not engaged in unlawful activity,” said sponsor Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan.
Um, sneaking into this country without contacting immigration IS illegal, Harry. MORE:
“I believe they are committing a crime being illegally present in the United States,” said Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, who dialed in on provisions of the bill that would require someone who obtained one of the new driving privilege cards to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check that would ensure they hadn’t committed any serious crimes.
Gov. Pat McCrory, also a Republican, sent his legislative liaison to the committee Tuesday to express his disapproval as well.
“He is opposed to this bill,” said Ryan Minto. “He (the governor) is concerned with the provision providing driving privileges to people in the country illegally.”
[…] During a committee meeting last week, opponents of the bill tried to do away with the driving privilege provision. That amendment, which would have left mainly punitive measures in the bill, failed.
Warren said the bill was meant to provide both a “carrot and stick” to urge drivers to obtain identification and insurance. Roughly 10 states already offer a similar privilege, Warren said, although North Carolina’s standards for obtaining the card would be more stringent than most.
How about a “carrot and stick” to force these people to go follow the process so many other people have over the years ????
Warren and other backers of the bill said that immigration is a federal issue, one the United States government hasn’t dealt with efficiently. The result, he said, was an estimated 325,000 undocumented people in North Carolina alone, a situation that has created a hazard on the state’s roads.
Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, pointed out that, in the case of an accident involving a driver without insurance, the other driver’s insurance bears the cost of damage and medical bills. Part of the insurance premiums drivers pay every month go toward covering such accidents.
Oh, and HERE are the Republican legislators who violated the GOP platform and worked with the Democrats to get this travesty through committee:
Bill Brawley 919-733-5800 Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net
Harry Warren 919-733-5784 Harry.Warren@ncleg.net
Brian Brown 919-733-5757 Brian.Brown@ncleg.net
Jeff Collins 919-733-5802 Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net
Jonathan Jordan 919-733-7727 Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net
Nelson Dollar 919-715-0795 Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net
Larry Yarborough 919-715-0850 Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net
Paul “Skip” Stam 919-733-2962 Paul.Stam@ncleg.net
Charles Jeter 919-733-5654 Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net
Bob Steinberg 919-733-0010 Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net
Susan Martin 919-715-3023 Susan.Martin@ncleg.net
Jay Adams 919-733-5988 Jay.Adams@ncleg.net
Go get ’em!
There is no grassroots outcry for this. Why are they doing it? Clearly, the requirements for insurance benefit the insurance industry. We all know there are a few lobbyists running around Jones Street passing out checks. But, then, you are now counting on people who have been violating the law for years to suddenly comply with the law and obtain auto insurance.
Retailers with relationships with Western Union, for instance, would also benefit. Making it easier for these folks to hang around in Carolina del Norte ensures that they will keep stopping by and wiring that dinero down south.
The Farm Bureau and The Chamber of Commerce also benefit. This is a great benefit for their members’ low-wage employees.
Special interests are trumping the interests of those of us who are supposed to be represented by these people. Remember these names. Start prepping for the primaries. We’ve got the power to deal with this arrogance legally and lawfully. Let’s do it.