Critics say California threatens homeland security

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The approval achieved last week in both houses of the California Legislature, granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, poses a serious threat to the security of all Americans, critics charge.

A CBP Border Patrol agent utilizes an automated fingerprint recognition system to process an individual who entered the U.S. illegally. Photo: James Tourtellotte, CPB Photography
A CBP Border Patrol agent utilizes an automated fingerprint recognition system to process an individual who entered the U.S. illegally. Illustration Photo: James Tourtellotte, CPB Photography

The critics say that in 2005, in response to recommendations by the 9/11 Commission, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in order to discourage state governments from issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents to illegal aliens.

The most direct charges came from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization supporting more restrictive immigration policies.

Under the legislation, which Governor Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign, beginning on 1 January 2015, illegal aliens will be able to obtain a valid California driver’s license by presenting a variety of unverifiable, or what FAIR describes as “easily forged documents purporting to establish their identities.”

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

The California Legislature rarely misses an opportunity to demonstrate its contempt for U.S. immigration laws. But approval of AB 60 is much more than a symbolic gesture. The Legislature’s action and Gov. Brown’s signature on the bill endanger the security of every American at a time when international events have heightened the risk of terrorists carrying out an attack on the United States,” warned Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

A FAIR release notes that the report of the blue ribbon commission investigating the attacks of 9/11 stated that the ability of the terrorists to obtain valid, government-issued identity documents facilitated their ability to plan and execute the deadly attacks. In response, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in 2005, with the intent of discouraging state governments from issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents to illegal aliens under threat of invalidating those documents for federal identification purposes. “AB 60 is designed to circumvent requirements of REAL ID Act, ignoring the serious homeland security threats the federal law sought to address,” FAIR says.

Although the licenses may not be used for federal identification purposes, AB 60 includes explicit protections for holders of these documents. In particular, the bill makes it “a violation of law to discriminate against an individual because he or she holds or presents a license issued under these provisions.” The bill also bars police from using these driver’s licenses as a basis for arresting or detaining an individual for violations of federal immigration laws.