Sunday, June 16, 2013

Puerto Rico: Plan to Issue Driving Permits to Undocumented Workers Another Bad Precedent

According to EFE, the Puerto Rico House of Representatives has approved granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and the island’s Senate is expected to follow suit. 

Rolando Acosta, president of the Integracion Dominicana organization, told EFE on June 13, that at least 10,000 Dominicans will benefit from the measure, which he called “historic.”

Unfortunately, independent calculations suggest that the Dominican community in Puerto Rico is much larger than the official figures reflect and could number as many as 200,000.

COMMENT: As someone who spent a career as a federal agent, I find the trend of US states and territories approving bills to issue driver's licenses to undocumented workers objectionable and illegal, considering that jurisdictions across the country are becoming an accessory to foreigners who violate US immigration laws.

Although many US jurisdictions see dollar signs from licensing fees, the reality is that the US is simply becoming increasingly corrupt.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said on the likely passage of the bill: “The new regulation will allow many thousands of Dominicans to come out of the shadows and not be subject to abuses.”

Sadly, driving permits with photo identification whether by design or reality, are respected as genuine identification to the point that many citizens view those possessing a valid US driving permit as "in the country legally."

Unfortunately, such general acceptance by the populace is simply invalid, as we are jeopardizing a form of identification that was once credible and reliable. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. 

Among the US states (including Puerto Rico) that either have authorized undocumented workers to obtain a US driver's license or have bills pending include: Illinois, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Connecticut, etc.

Under the Puerto Rico plan, undocumented workers who have lived in Puerto Rico for at least a year will be eligible for a Puerto Rican driving permit.

Now, the interesting part. Citizens on the Mainland, at first blush, will assume that anyone with a Puerto Rican driver's license is a US citizen, which is not the case at all.