January 18, 2015
As seen in:
Santa Barbara News-Press
Robert Galo should not have been driving. A Honduran native in the U.S. under temporary protective status, like so many others, he snubbed California law and got behind the wheel anyway.
|Don Rosenberg, center, with sons
Drew, left, and Evan.
In a rush-hour crash, he killed someone: 25-year-old law student Drew Rosenberg.
That fateful night of Nov. 16, 2010, wasn't the first time Mr. Galo had driven in defiance of state law. Several months before he shot out into a San Francisco intersection in the path of Drew, who was riding a motorcycle, Mr. Galo got a ticket for driving without a license or insurance and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Thanks to San Francisco's sanctuary city status, Mr. Galo simply paid a fine, got his car out of impound in nothing flat and started driving again.
The collision with the motorcycle sent Drew's helmet flying, while his body became wedged under the car. In an attempt to flee, Mr. Galo drove over him again and again, until a brave witness boldly stepped in front of the car and told him to stop.
"His rear tire was sitting on my son's abdomen, and five guys had to lift the car off of him," the young man's father, Don Rosenberg, told the News-Press by phone from his home in the Westlake Village, in western Los Angeles County.
"Had he just stopped, Drew would have walked away with bruises and no broken bones. Instead he's dead."
The killer spent 43 days in jail after being convicted of manslaughter.
Content with a successful career in the entertainment industry, Mr. Rosenberg, whose other son, Evan, was studying at UCSB when Drew was killed, now turned his attention to sharing the facts about unlicensed drivers, many of whom are here illegally. The crusade includes the website http://unlicensedtokill.org .
"You make people laugh, but it's not curing brain cancer and leaving a legacy," he said. "I want to do something that will save people's lives. I want my son's life to have some meaning."
According to statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Drew was one of more than 5,000 people killed in 2010 by people who were in this country illegally. (One of the more than 100,000 killed by illegals since the last amnesty, says his father.)
As drivers, illegals kill at a rate 5 times higher than the general public. They drive drunk at a rate 5 times higher and they hit and run at a rate 10 times higher.
In a 2012 report looking at nearly a quarter-century of fatal crashes, the Department of Motor Vehicles study agency unlicensed drivers and those driving with suspended or revoked licenses "were overinvolved as at-fault drivers in fatal crashes every year relative to validly licensed drivers. … Compared to licensed drivers, those who drive without a valid license are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash relative to their exposure."
The study goes on to state, "The fact that the rates for (suspended/revoked) and unlicensed drivers exceeded 1 in every year indicates that these drivers were consistently more likely to be at fault than to be innocent in their crashes."
So, give them a license and things will change for the better, right?
Here's what the DMV says: "Of particular relevance is that the annual overinvolvement rate for unlicensed drivers does not appear to have decreased following implementation of the law that denies licensure to individuals whose presence in California is not authorized under federal law."
In other words, they were bad drivers with or without licenses.
Before a public safety committee taking comment on AB 60, the newly enacted state law allowing the DMV to grant driving privileges to illegals, speaker after speaker cried while telling the panel they'd lose their job if they couldn't get a license.
Even some on the panel cried.
When Mr. Rosenberg got up to speak — the only person in a state of 38 million to argue against AB 60 — he was met with derision.
"When it became my turn, I said, 'I'm sorry. He'll find another job. I lost my son, I'll never find another son.'"
"The committee sitting there stone-faced," he said.
At end of hearing, he asked for clarification: Are you for or against public safety?
He got no response, just looks that said it all.
"It was so shocking that there was no concern for people hurt or killed, but for people losing a car."
"It's easy to make the people here illegally look like victims," Mr. Rosenberg said. "But the victims are the people hurt, the people killed, the people who have lost their jobs."
"You can't fault them for wanting to come here, but you can't condone what they do, either."
With AB 60, apparently you can.
Authored by Democrat Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Watsonville, and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the legislation made California the 10th state to allow illegals to apply for driver's licenses.
While it's hard to say how many illegals were driving before the bill was enacted Jan. 2, the Department of Motor Vehicles estimates there will be 1.4 million new licenses handed out over the next three years.
For many, driving has become a civil right.
"Wait!" said Mr. Rosenberg. "Citizens don't have a civil right to drive. It's a privilege."
The man who killed Drew, he continued, "was irresponsible and had no business driving. He'd failed his driver's test three times, twice before he was caught driving without a license."
In a later email Mr. Rosenberg, who admits to being far-left of center — he's watched MSNBC since its inception — said, "If you listen to Obama, you would think that illegal immigration is the best thing that's ever happened to the United States. He can't seem to understand why we don't want to reward these people for breaking so many of our laws."
Nor can the president apparently bring himself to say one negative thing about illegals or the harm they've caused.
"He is so concerned about breaking up families who are totally responsible for putting themselves in that position to begin with, but he has never shown any sympathy for the American families who have lost a loved one and had their families destroyed," added Mr. Rosenberg. "He meets with people here illegally, but he refuses to even respond to two letters I sent him (which I know he received) let alone ever meet with a true victim of illegal immigration."
Mr. Galo was eventually deported, but not before authorities told Drew's parents to keep in mind he'd only committed one act of moral turpitude.
"My son would be alive if this guy weren't here," said Mr. Rosenberg.
In a strange, sad twist, Drew had sold his car and purchased the motorcycle because his girlfriend, who was from London, returned home upon the expiration of her visa.
"She followed the law," said Mr. Rosenberg.
Had she stayed beyond what the visa allowed, Drew would have kept the car.
"She followed the immigration law," said Mr. Rosenberg. "He's dead because the government doesn't follow immigration law."
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