Logic has been turned on its ear!
Example #1: Here in Nevada, the state legislature passed a bill that took effect January 1, allowing undocumented immigrants (i.e. persons in the US illegally) to obtain drivers’ authorization cards with proper documentation from their country of origin.
Example #2: The California Supreme Court agreed with Sergio Garcia – an undocumented immigrant – that a 1996 federal law barring those in the US illegally from obtaining government-issued professional licenses (doctor, lawyer, etc.) is unconstitutional. A few years ago, California passed its own law that people like Garcia can be granted professional licenses. So now Garcia can practice law.
I have to prove I am a US citizen and legal Nevada resident to obtain a driver’s license, but someone else can prove they are not a legal resident and be given a driver’s authorization card (different name, same privileges). The argument for these permits was that they would make our roads safer, since applicants must take a driving test and purchase auto insurance. But these people were already driving without a license – if they fail the test or cannot afford the insurance, they will just continue to drive without a license/card. Not to mention those afraid to disclose their immigration status, who will continue to drive without a permit.
In the case of the undocumented lawyer, I think the odds are in my favor to bet that he is not going to work on the prosecution side of the legal system. That would be extreme hypocrisy. These activist California justices (who presumably are extremely intelligent and well-versed in the law) apparently are not thinking this situation through to consider all the consequences. This is akin to allowing a convicted felon to become a police officer or a convicted rapist to become a gynecologist. Mr. Garcia may have come to the US at age 17, but this precedent opens the door for a convicted criminal from another country to become a lawyer or doctor since by definition, the background of undocumented residents cannot be thoroughly checked.
The US justice system gives more protections to accused persons (and also convicted criminals) than any other country. But our system has also historically made sure true justice is served through the courts. Activist judges are granting special privileges or exceptions to laws for those outside the law and/or not representative of the majority of American citizens. This is a representative democracy, but activist judges are “gaming the system” to cater to special interests.
Both of these examples involve especially close associations with the legal system. It is ironic (or bewildering, astonishing and mind-boggling ) that those who disclose that they are breaking US immigration laws are given special treatment instead of being arrested.
I understand the reasons many people cross the US borders illegally. I would be looking for a way out if I lived in an area where I could not earn enough to feed my family or faced a high risk of death from drug cartels. But there has to be a better, more logical way to deal with this problem than legalizing undocumented immigrants one aspect at a time. Government officials and legislators who disagree with current immigration laws should work to change them directly, not undermine current laws by passing new legislation that contradicts, negates or ignores the current laws.
update 1/4/14: The Reno CBS affiliate reported on tonight’s evening newscast that “between 75%-80% of people applying for the cards have failed the written test which is much higher than officials anticipated.” Do you think that these people – who were driving without a license/authorization card previously – will stop driving now?