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March 26, 2009

Senate panel nixes licenses for illegal immigrants

UPDATE: The House Judiciary Committee has also passed a bill restricting driver's licenses to those who can prove they're in the country legally. Their version, however, grandfathers in those who already have licenses.

The AP reports that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted late Wednesday night to bar illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses or state ID cards. Maryland is now one of just four states that allows people to get licenses without proving they're in the country legally and is the only one east of New Mexico, which some people say makes the state a magnest for illegal immigrants up and down the East Coast. Immigrant advocates, though, say licensing people regardless of immigration status at least ensures that people on the road know how to drive. (After all, if you've already broken immigration laws to get here, why not break traffic laws and drive without a license?)

This is a pretty big step for Annapolis after years of contentious debates on the issue. It's hard to know how things will go from here, but it looks like there's a decent chance that this will actually pass in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by Andy Green at 10:49 AM | | Comments (11)
        

Comments

Due to adverse repercussions of the impending Real-ID act. Don't believe for a second that they have come to their senses on illegal immigration, they would have been just fine with the MVA business model of selling false drivers licenses to every illegal east of the Mississippi had the Real-ID act not included provisions that would have rendered a MD Driver's License useless as valid ID in Federal facilities, airports, etc.

Well it is a surprise to see a small flash of common sense and to see that someone really cares about the safety of LEGAL citizens of Maryland.
Now if all our police forces would investigate legal status WHENEVER a crime is committed and remove form our state those who do not belong here.

Having or not a driver's license is not going to stop the undocumented aliens from driven. But having the DL will ensure that every person that is behind the wheel at least have Car Insurance and that this person is liable for any damage that may occur. ( And because this will be a way to track them )
So I do agree that every person that intend to drive should be licensed regardless of they immigration status.

This is a mistake. Of course, fraudulent activities need to be investigated, but repealing the ability for an entire segment of the population to access drivers' licenses is a dangerous and irresponsible move. People will not stop driving, at least now they have to pass tests, attend driving school, and get insurance. The senate's decision will only negatively impact all of us. I appreciate that people feel strongly about this issue, but Immigrants are hardly the boogieman that they are frequenlty characterized to be by some. They are just hardworking folks trying to make better lives for teir families, that is the simple truth. The demographic nature of our state is changing, whether we accept it or not. Maneuvers like this from our legislature demonstrate a lack of vision for the future of our community.

This is a mistake. Of course, fraudulent activities need to be investigated, but repealing the ability for an entire segment of the population to access drivers' licenses is a dangerous and irresponsible move. People will not stop driving, at least now they have to pass tests, attend driving school, and get insurance. The senate's decision will only negatively impact all of us. I appreciate that people feel strongly about this issue, but Immigrants are hardly the boogieman that they are frequenlty characterized to be by some. They are just hardworking folks trying to make better lives for their families, that is the simple truth. The demographic nature of our state is changing, whether we accept it or not. Maneuvers like this from our legislature demonstrate a lack of vision for the future of our community.

Najee, too bad that illegals use the same "insurance" for many drivers.
Testimony showed 60 some drivers used the SAME address for their DL's.
They do the same for insurance. They are ILLEGAL and laws have no bearing on their actions like it does you and I.

Andy,

Real-ID act give the SB/HB number.

Takoma park will probably secede rather than comply. This is at least a good first step for this sanctuary State. I'm sure the MVA will be overflowing with illegals trying to beat the cutoff date. I hope ICE shows up in Glen Burnie with 100 empty buses.

Illegal is illegal!!!

Illegal immigrants should be sent out of the country as soon as they are discovered by ANY arm of the government. Most people I know are fed up with wishy-washy state laws. The pols, dem and rep, will pay at the next election.

Note the increase in horriffic crimes by illegals- stop them NOW.

HOW COULD PEOPLE BE SO IGNORANT. IN MY OPINION I THINK INMIGRANTS SHOULD GET THEIR LICENSE AS LONG AS THEY PROVE THAT THEY HAVE LIVED HERE FOR AT LEAST 5 YEARS.

I guess it is OK for any "group" to choose which laws they think they should follow. I gusss it is also OK for CASA supporters here to keep dropping the word ILLEGAL from the word IMMIGRANTS. Nobody here wants to ban LEGAL RESIDENTS from driving. That is the IGNORANT part.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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