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Real ID – A Real Mess

Thanks to the Real ID Act, it is impossible for most undocumented people to get driver’s licenses. This has created a real mess. Denying driver’s licenses to millions of undocumented immigrants has not only forced thousands of unlicensed and uninsured drivers onto our roads, making our roads more dangerous for everyone, it also has meant that vital information about all these people who are living here is not in our DMV database – the largest law enforcement database in the country. If I get into a car accident on the way to work, I want the person who hit me to have a license because I want them to have insurance. If a crime is committed against me, I hope that the criminal has a license because it will make it easier for the police to find that individual. Society doesn’t gain anything by refusing drivers licenses to the undocumented. Yes, it makes their lives a little bit more difficult but it doesn’t help the rest of us. Does the inability to obtain a license make it more likely that an undocumented person will return to their home country? I don’t think so. I don’t know of any American who has deserted their family and moved to another country just because their drivers’ license was suspended or revoked here and they think they could get one in Canada, Mexico or Europe. On top of that the States have to bear the responsibility and cost of validating that holders of driver’s licenses are citizens or legal residents of the United States. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this week said she is working with governors to repeal the Real ID Act. Let’s hope she’s successful.