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Driver’s Licenses for CA Immigrants a “National Security Threat” According to Nativists

Lauren Taylor • Sep 23, 2013

Dan Stein, President of Federation for American Immigration Reform

On Sept 12, the California legislature approved a bill that will allow undocumented California residents to apply for driver’s licenses. Governor Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign the bill, particularly after the legislature bowed to his insistence that the license be distinguished from licenses given to citizens and immigrants with lawful status.

In the days that followed the bill’s passage, leaders of the country’s most influential nativist organizations released their own scattershot response – calling the bill a “quasi-amnesty,” a national security threat, “benefits”, and a ploy to win votes.

In a press release released September 13, Dan Stein, president of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) called the bill a threat to national security, and urged the governor to veto it: “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.”

Stein’s reliance on fearmongering is nothing new for FAIR. The release goes on to highlight the law’s anti-discrimination measures, suggesting that FAIR is especially concerned that the civil liberties of immigrants will be protected. FAIR’s more recent response to the Navy Yard shooting reveals its penchant for spinning tragedy into a justification for opposing the protection of immigrants’ rights.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies called the bill “quasi-amnesty” in an interview with the LA Times.

“The whole point of immigration law is to make it impractical to stay here illegally,” he said. “This is doing the exact opposite. The point of this is to make it practical to live here illegally […] What it means is the government is formally incorporating illegal aliens into institutions of our society.”

On Friday, FAIR spokeperson Ira Mehlman was quoted by the New York Times: “It seems they stay up late dreaming up ways they can reward illegal immigration and create either new benefits or new protections for illegal immigrants.” He adds, “The overriding objective of the California Legislature is to further blur the distinction between citizen and immigrant, legal and not.”

The week before, Mehlman told CBS: “They don’t vote, but nevertheless, they consider these people to be their constituents. They’re hoping in the future there will be some sort of amnesty and that down the road, those folks will become voters.”



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