California welcomed in 2015 by rewarding illegal immigrants with the opportunity to apply for driver’s licenses, the latest in a long list of privileges given to aliens that were formerly reserved for citizens and legal immigrants. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed bills that would remove most of California’s illegal immigrants from deportation, allow them to become lawyers, fine employers who question their immigration status, and allow them to drive, assuming they pass the written and practical road tests.
On January 2, thousands of aliens lined up at Department of Motor Vehicle offices throughout California. In Sacramento, lines stretched around the block. DMV anticipates that 1.4 million aliens will eventually apply. In anticipation of the crush, DMV has opened four new offices and hired 900 additional staff. A suspiciously conservative cost estimate puts the taxpayer expense at $141 million over the next three years.
|Illegal immigrants line up before dawn
for California driver’s licenses.
Insulting to law-abiding Californians, DMV will accept flimsy identification beginning with proof of residency that can include a rent receipt, a cell phone bill and/or the discredited matricula consular card. Some of the acceptable forms of ID are easily falsified or counterfeited.
But many first-day applicants’ hopes were dashed when they couldn’t pass the written test, even though Hispanics can take the exam in Spanish. DMV offers the knowledge test in 31 languages. Several of California’s leading daily newspapers interviewed (in Spanish) applicants who failed their tests. As one put it, “No one is passing.”
Advocates steadfastly insist that allowing aliens to drive will improve road safety. But early DMV evidence suggests the opposite. When would-be drivers can’t pass the written test in their native language, expecting them to read, understand and obey road signs may be too much of a stretch.