California's Latest Insult to Citizens and Legal Immigrants

The Tarnished State flips the bird to legal residents and immigrants
The Tarnished State flips the bird to legal residents and immigrants

I’d like to share an interesting (translate – extremely annoying) experience I had this morning. My wife and I took my father in law, who previously resided in Nebraska and most recently in Arizona and now living with us, down to the local California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to obtain, a California Identification card.

If you California residents among my readers, haven’t been to the DMV recently, but have the misfortune to have to go there in person to transact some business, prepare for a shock. I can’t ever remember a line wrapped around the side of the building on any of my previous forays to the DMV prior to 2015. Normally, if there is anything that can be done online, I handle it that way. The same is true of the post office. But in this instance, “Pop” had to appear in person, to sign the paperwork and get his mug shot and fingerprints.

What accounts for the line around the side of the building of people (some at least) sacrificing productive hours to the drones of state bureaucracy? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s AB60, which was passed in Sacramento last year. What AB60 did was nothing less than undermine and arguably nullify U.S. immigration law. AB60, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, allows illegal aliens to show up at the DMV and apply for and receive driver’s licenses! A major state agency becomes essentially a sanctuary zone – at least with respect to the process and the many assurances that the applicants will not be reported to Customs and Border Enforcement. And illegals have been flocking to the DMV across the state in droves.  The San Jose Mercury profiles one such:

“I hope I pass,” said Brenda Torres, a 25-year-old mother of two who had driven 33 predawn miles one recent morning from San Leandro to be the first in the appointment line outside the new East San Jose office, one of four centers designed to accommodate the flood of immigrants.  Following a show of documents, an eye test, a thumbprint and photographs — a touch-screen exam machine congratulated her in Spanish.

 DMV Director Jean Shiomoto has disclosed that the number of what the state euphemistically refers to as ‘undocumented immigrants’ applying for the license has doubled what they expected and the offices are underwater. She’s not kidding, I saw it in person. DMV officials estimated that about 1.4 million illegal aliens would apply over the course of three years. In the three months since Assembly Bill 60 has gone into effect, 493,998 illegal aliens have applied to obtain a drivers license. Of those applications, 203,000 have obtained a license to date. 203,000 that have cut in line in front of immigrants following the rules.  Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform points out the obvious injustice. “A license is a vital document that helps a lot of illegal aliens go to jobs that might have gone to unemployed Californians.”

This chaotic state of affairs exists despite the fact that DMV officials hired extra cubicle monkeys, opened new offices and extended hours. The California DMV has always been a pit of quicksand, but it wasn’t until state lawmakers decided to incentify more violation of immigration law, that the state lifted a finger to increase service. In reality they haven’t increased service, they’ve just increased dis-service.

Anyway, we scheduled an appointment – you can still do that, but it simply means that you’ll be at the DMV for an hour and a half instead of 3 maybe 4 hours. When my wife submitted the paperwork on behalf of my father in law, they asked for documentation of his citizenship. He had the Nebraska state ID and his Social Security card. Not good enough. Birth certificate please. They wanted a birth certificate for a person born in 1919!

The brain dead clerk refused to accept any logic and balked when my wife insisted on speaking to a supervisor. However, when my wife asks a lackey for a supervisor she takes no prisoners. The supervisor of the department, incredibly, was able to discern that a person born before 1933 never had a birth certificate and he waived us through the process. But by then I started thinking, “Wait just a minute. Illegals are illegal (in part) because they are undocumented. I’ll bet there is a dual track system in place here – one for legal residents / citizens and another for illegals.”

I decided to look into the matter. What I uncovered was a list of acceptable documents for the purpose of establishing identity. Most people who are here legally on a passport, will have at their disposal, any number of the acceptable documents. Those here illegally – which was what AB60 was created as a carve out for – may or may not have the required verifying paperwork. But – there is an ID that is ideally suited for this situation – the ‘Matricula Consular’ card.

This was a flaky form of non-vetted ID that has been around in Mexico since the 19th century, but was the subject of an intense promotional campaign by former Mexican Presidente Vincente Fox, during the Bush (43) administration. Fox wanted the US to honor the cards more broadly as to increase the mobility of illegals in this country. Many banks accept them for transactions, including remittances that now total $26 Billion dollars (2014) leaving this economy and heading back to Mexico.

There is a problem with these cards. The FBI, in testimory before the Senate Judiciary Committee, told panel members that the Matricula Consular card is “inherently unreliable and unverifiable as an identification card and is highly vulnerable to fraud, regardless of its security features.” The reason, as explained was that because Mexico does not maintain a centralized database for these cards, there is no way to prevent the issuance of multiple cards or to access information about an applicant’s identity, much less a possible criminal record.

One of the witnesses told the committee that “Mexican consulates issued CID cards to individuals lacking any proof of identification, as long as they fill out a questionnaire and satisfy the consular official that they are who they claim to be.” The FBI has also advised lawmakers that narco traffickers are using the cards under aliases and the cards are also linked to human trafficking and pose a national security risk.

It stands to reason that illegals will prefer to present either a ‘genuine’ Matricula Consular card with a fictitious name or a counterfeit version commonly available also with an alias. This is so that in interactions with law enforcement, the officer will not actually know the true identity of the individual he or she is dealing with. The state of California is a willing participant in this dangerous game. The driver’s license that are being handed out are described by the Fresno Bee:

The license looks no different from other California driver’s licenses but features two notable exceptions: The front includes the phrase “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY,” and the back states: “This card is not acceptable for official federal purposes. This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle. It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.”

That is the ostensible and theoretical limitation, but the reality is that without having a mandated eVerify and vigorous internal immigration enforcement, these cards are going to function for many of these non-authorized purposes in the breach. And we are just now seeing a major example. Despite assurances by the authors of AB60 and state officials, these ‘Drivers Privilege’ cards will be accepted by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) as valid identification allowing holders – illegal aliens to fly around the country. Politifact contacted a TSA official from the Western Region, Nico Melendez, and Mr. Melendez told Politifact:

“State-issued driver cards would be acceptable forms of identification for our document-checkers at the airport. At this point, the understanding is that a card like this would be an acceptable form of identification. Whether an air passenger shows a TSA representative a driver’s license or driver card doesn’t matter. What we are doing is verifying that the person who shows the card is the person who is traveling. It’s not an immigration check.”

For the voters in Oregon, who found out about this before the election, the idea that illegals could hop onto planes, was a deal killer and the ballot measure went down in flames. Here in California there wasn’t a ballot measure – the Democrats just shoved this through, despite a lot of pushback from citizens and law enforcement. In a Zogby poll taken while the bill was being pushed through the assembly, 60% of California voters said that state and local governments should pass laws that discourage illegal immigrants from settling in California, and 55% opposed granting driver’s licenses to illegals.

One of the Assemblymen that voted against the bill, explains that he believes the bill rewards migrants who don’t follow the rules and that:

“The second reason why I opposed AB 60 is that it forces businesses to choose between violating federal law and violating state law. Under federal law, it is unlawful for a business to hire an illegal immigrant. However, under a last-minute provision slipped into AB 60 at the behest of organized labor, it will be illegal to discriminate against someone who presents a valid driver’s license for any purpose, including employment. Since the state will now issue valid driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, what is an employer supposed to do?”

At this point, I should mention that I didn’t have the heart to explain to my 95 year old father in law, what was going on at the DMV. You see, ‘Pop’ came here in the early 50’s after escaping from Latvia when the Soviets were taking over following WWII. He and his family spent 5 very difficult, impoverished years in a refugee camp in Germany before a sponsor was found to pay their way to this country. Yes, that’s right, you couldn’t enter this country until someone here paid the government for all the costs of your immigration. And then you, the immigrant had to work for the sponsor until you paid him back every penny. It was essentially indentured servitude, but it was voluntary, worked well for all parties including the taxpayer – and in Pop’s case, the employer so appreciated him that when the debt was canceled, he pleaded with Pop to stay on as a regular employee.

There were never any special considerations given such immigrants and they had to learn English on a full immersion basis. They were even spitefully treated by ignorant people who labeled them with the pejorative “Displaced Persons”, which was a lie and a slur. So much for “White Privilege”.

This article is not to change what has already happened here in California – although at some point it could be reversed. We’ve got a lot further to go before we hit bottom. It is to warn you that this is coming to your state next and to recommend that you brace yourself for it and don’t sleepwalk through it.

This nation is not a “nation of immigrants” as is so often said without any contradiction. It is instead, a nation of laws. When it ceases being that, there will be nothing to distinguish America from any other nation. We’re already headed for the rocks.