The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver's licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version.The first tier is an "enhanced" license, followed by one that complies with the REAL ID Act. The third tier is one just for those who are making money for corrupt businesses and banks and who just might vote for Democrats, i.e., illegal aliens. They wouldn't be valid as federal ID. As Rep. Peter King says, this might be a defeat for Spitzer because few illegal aliens might want the licenses since they would strongly indicate that the bearer is here illegally. Needless to say, "immigrant rights" groups will probably protest it for that reason.
...Saturday's agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York. It is the largest state to sign on so far to the government's post-Sept. 11 effort to make identification cards more secure [joining Arizona, Vermont and Washington].
...Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it.
"I don't endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice," Chertoff said.
The governor made clear he is going forward with his plan allowing licenses for illegal immigrants. But advocates on both sides of the debate said Spitzer had caved to pressure by adopting the administration's stance on tighter security standards for most driver's licenses.
"He has crossed the line to the other side, letting his good name be used to promote an anti-immigrant, junk security measure in the Real ID."Here are some details on the tiers:
A lower-level license for driving and state ID purposes will be available to illegal aliens and citizens. The license will carry the words "Not for U.S. government purposes" and won't be acceptable ID for boarding a plane, entering a federal facility like a courtroom, or crossing the border.The "WHTI" sounds like it warrants a bit more research.
A more expensive second license, a federally recognized document that meets the REAL ID security requirements enacted by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be available to citizens and legal aliens and will be good for boarding a plane or accessing federal facilities.
The third document, known as an "enhanced driver's license," will be strictly for U.S. citizens. It will carry all the federal benefits of the REAL ID, plus allow New Yorkers to cross the border into Canada without a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
[Hong] said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. "I know I'm speaking for millions of immigrants when I say I just feel so thoroughly betrayed."If Rivera were a real reporter he would have called her on that. Isn't she basically play-acting? "Immigrants" - those who've pledged to abide by our laws - can get the middle-tier, normal licenses. Is she making the false claim that most legal immigrants feel solidarity with illegal aliens? To the extent that that's true, isn't that more of either a personal thing (mixed status families) or a racial solidarity issue? Is encouraging either of those good public policy?
The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.That's what's happening already, so it's not going to get worse just because they won't get the new, special licenses just for them.
"You have forsaken a practical policy that would have been a benefit for all New Yorkers - for what? For just your own short-sighted political cover," said S.J. Jung of [Young Korean American Service and Education Center]. "Today, New Yorkers are outraged by your flip-flopping and New Yorkers are ashamed to have someone like you as our governor."YKASEC is also a member of the "New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights", a group that wants to let "immigrants" vote; whether that means illegal aliens or not isn't known. They also say that "New York government officials do not adequately reflect the faces of the people they represent."
Sat, 10/27/2007 - 14:53 · Importance: 4