For years now there has been a popular joke – one that has sadly lost its humorous bent – that we, as American citizens, would better off hopping in a row boat, paddling a couple miles off shore, then returning to U.S. soil and pretending you have just arrived. What better way to enjoy the benefits afforded those who have broken our laws to get here then to simply mirror their illegal behavior?
According to statistics compiled by sources ranging from the Los Angeles Times to the Center for Immigration Studies to the folks at Accuracy in Media, illegal immigration costs American taxpayers as much as $20 billion per year in welfare via state government; $22 billion per year on food assistance programs such as WIC and free school lunches; $3 billion per year for Medicaid; $12 billion per year on primary and secondary education; $17 billion per year to educate the so-called anchor babies of illegals; $3 million PER DAY to incarcerate illegals; and $90 billion per year for various other social services. It is also estimated that more than $200 billion per year is the cost of suppressed wages for legal American citizens.
In Maryland, costs associated with supporting the illegal immigrant community (according to the activist org Help Save Maryland) range from nearly $300 million per year in Baltimore City to $210 million in Prince George’s County to $235 million in Montgomery County.
And I mention those three jurisdictions for a couple of reasons. First, all three – as proclaimed by the organization itself, are home to the three “specifically focused” locations of the “immigrants rights” group known as Casa de Maryland.
Second, not only do Maryland taxpayers fund the illegals, they also help fund – to the tune of at least 40% - of Casa’s yearly operating costs. Plus, MD taxpayers picked up $10 million of the tab for the Langley Park mansion that the Casa org – which freely admits it assists those here illegally in skirting the system – calls its main headquarters.
But the most important connection comes in the form of the MD legislators who are obviously in Casa de Maryland’s pocket – most notably Prince George's County delegate Jolene Ivey and Montgomery County delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez.
Del. Ivey, it’s worth noting, was listed as being a member of Casa de Maryland’s board of directors as recently as February of 2011.
These two lawmakers – who have quite a track record of supporting those who break the law over representing law-abiding, taxpaying citizens – are the sponsors of two bills currently in the house of derelicts, er, delegates that would grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.
The Ivey fiasco – HB 789 - would repeal a 2009 Maryland law that outlawed driver's licenses for illegals. That law was enacted to comply with the federal Real ID Act and it allowed illegal immigrants to keep their driver's licenses until July 1, 2015. The new version, which we’ll call Ivey's Pandering Proposition, would allow them to keep, reapply and apply for licenses in Maryland, though they wouldn't be valid for federal purposes, such as ID at an airport or federal building… But I’m guessing one could use them to vote.
The Gutierrez disaster – HB 911 - would “only” extend the July 1, 2015 deadline to 2023 for illegal immigrants who currently hold driver's licenses.
Ivey’s silly argument is that allowing illegal immigrants to have driver’s license is a public safety issue, ignoring the possibility that said illegal’s mere presence in this state could be a public safety issue. Ivey’s second ridiculous notion is that such a bill would ensure illegals know how to drive before getting on the road, make it more likely illegals will have car insurance and would free police to pursue real crime – as if breaking and entering and squatting aren’t real crimes.
Aside from the fact that an illegal immigrant obviously doesn’t care about our laws, why would said lawbreaker bother to get a license and insurance?
Just curious, Delegate: what legal address does an illegal use? If they get caught driving without insurance what will we do, suspend their license?
A natural born citizen – a Marylander who shows up at the Motor Vehicle Administration in search of a learner's permit, driver's license, moped operator's permit or identification card must present a document to prove age and identity, a document to prove they possess a valid, verifiable Social Security Number (SSN) or proof of ineligibility for an SSN, a document to prove lawful status in the United States and Maryland residency documents.
But we all know the real reason behind granting a drivers license to those in this state illegally and it has nothing to do with safety or insurance.
Ivey, and other supporters of the bill, also like to smoke-screen this conspicuous gift to a potential voting bloc by claiming a reduction in the requirements for a license will benefit all Marylanders – particularly our ‘seasoned citizens’ – by making the process less onerous.
That this General Assembly habitually makes things more difficult for citizens of the state should be the first red flag flapping furiously above that crap-in-a-can. The second is a little federally-mandated program called “Motor Voter.”
The Motor Voter law requires the MVA to provide its customers the opportunity to apply to register to vote, or update voting information, during a driver's license or photo identification (ID) card transaction.
And according to the MVA website, “Prior to your driver’s license or identification card transaction you will be given an "Applying to Register to Vote at MVA" flyer at the information counter. This flyer will instruct you on what to expect during the motor voter transaction. MVA customers will then answer the voter application questions through a computerized touch screen and their driver’s licenses or identification card signatures will be used to certify the application for voter registration. This information is then transmitted electronically to the State Board of Elections on a nightly basis.”
Of course, the Motor Voter process is paperless.
Think such a system does not allow non-citizens to participate in our electoral process? In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that up to 3 percent of the 30,000 individuals called for jury duty from voter registration rolls in Florida in over a two-year period in just one U.S. district court were not U.S. citizens.
The Census Bureau reports that there are more than one million illegal immigrants in Florida.
Three percent… A 2012 estimate by the Federation for American Immigration Reform puts the number of illegal immigrants in Maryland at approximately 295,000.
If just one-percent of those have made it to the voter registration rolls than it’s possible that 2,950 non-citizens have participated in Maryland’s election process. And if you don’t think that number isn’t large enough to affect at least local elections – where outcomes are often decided on but a handful of votes – then I’ll show you a Montgomery County Democratic delegate who cares about legal taxpayers.
Laughably, other delegates, such as Baltimore City’s Curt Anderson, worried the change might put the state out of compliance with federal law.
Ummm, isn’t allowing illegal immigrants to invade one’s state already an act of disobedience when it comes to federal law?
Although, at second glance, maybe Ivey’s pandering bill isn’t such a bad idea. Perhaps we could either require the illegals to have an identifier on the license itself, much like the markings North Carolina was suggesting before they capitulated to an illegal community that complained of “differential treatment.”
Only in America…
The bills introduced by Delegates Ivey and Gutierrez are much like Maryland's immigration enforcement efforts overall: a joke. And like the one used to open this column, it is one that sure isn’t funny anymore.
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