By Arlene Jones
Driving is a privilege. To get a license, an American citizen in Illinois needs to first produce his/her social security card, birth certificate, proof of residency and proof of signature. That social security number also has a byproduct aspect to it in that it lets the state know that if you earn money using that number, the state will get its share of income taxes.
So as I read the news reports the other day about our state legislators determining that our roads will be much safer if those who are in this country illegally are permitted to obtain a driver's license, I couldn't help but wonder what that privilege would require. And our state legislators were tough. Those here illegally can now, with the blessings of the state of Illinois, get behind the wheel of a vehicle that can kill or maim, and all that foreign national has to do is produce a copy of a lease or utility bill.
Yup! The same folks who will put you, me and someone just turning 16 through the wringer has said that others in this country without permission only need to produce a minor piece of paper and voilà, they will have a driver's license.
Now it's not the same license you or I get as citizens. One can't board a plane using it or buy a gun legally. But hell, that isn't what those who have been advocating for this want. Those here illegally will be able to zoom up and down the street as a "licensed" driver. So now the pizza delivery driver, jitney cab drivers and all sorts of other jobs that needed a "licensed driver" will soon become the purview of those who are in this country illegally and now have been granted the legal right to drive.
How many scrap metal trucks will now come into being as they seek their road to the American dream? Anyone who throws out a mattress knows that Junkers will strip the entire thing in the alley leaving behind a mess in their quest for the metal springs. Or if a television is placed in the alley, the plastic parts are thrown about as Junkers seek out the metal interior. Will more and more alleys become the new danger zone as what once was the plying ground for "genuinely licensed drivers" becomes a free-for-all with the newly "licensed" drivers fighting for turf?
'Cause when all is said and done, those here illegally in this tough economic environment will find a way to make money. And if the junk haulers were at one time limited to those with a "real" license and now anybody with a license can do the job, will we soon see alley wars over tossed out metal parts?
Every last citizen of this state should be incensed. Those legislators who took an oath of office to uphold the laws of this state just voted to undercut those laws. And the worst part is that they didn't even ask those folks to whom they gave the privilege of having a license to at least have paid into and filed an Illinois income tax return. As I have said previously, those here illegally will pay federal taxes but ignore the state portion. So the roads that our tax dollars pay to keep up won't be paid by those earning money outside the system since they never pay state income taxes. And every visitor to this country pays a sales tax if they buy something, so please don't use that lame argument.
It is time for Americans to demand that those who claim to want to be a part of our system do so in all aspects. I am tired of seeing illegal food carts set up on sidewalks while American citizens with food trucks and licenses are hounded to death as to where they can and cannot be.
If licensing those here illegally is truly making our streets safer, then our legislators should have ended the uninsured/underinsured insurance requirement.
Another byproduct of the decision to license those here illegally will be the demand for more bi-lingual employees at the driver's license facilities to handle the influx of folks who can't speak English but want to drive. So I can guarantee that Pookie and Shenaynay will now have an even harder time getting a job as those whose first language isn't English demand their share of jobs.
Thank you, Illinois state legislators, for again showing why on Election Day some changes must be made.
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