Pavlos Stavropoulos <pdstavropoulos@...
> wrote:To: "denver-ANA@yahoogroups. com"
From: "Pavlos Stavropoulos"
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 23:49:27 -0600
Subject: [Denver-ANA] Kerry: No Licenses for Illegal Immigrants
My Groups | Denver-ANA Main Page
Kerry: No Licenses for Illegal Immigrants
Wed Jun 30,
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH - Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) said he opposes state
laws that give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, a position that puts
him at odds with the Hispanic activists he is courting in the presidential
Immigrant advocates have been pushing for the laws, saying they help
undocumented workers get around safely. Licensed drivers know the rules of
the road and can buy insurance, making streets safer for everyone, they say.
Shortly after Kerry told the National Council of La Raza on Tuesday that he
would make immigration reform a top priority to ease the path to citizenship
for working immigrants, he took a tougher stance on the issue of driver's
licenses in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo.
"I think that driver's licenses are part of the legality of being here and
if you've been here a period of time we may work something out as part of
that immigration process, but I wouldn't give somebody who is automatically
one year in here illegally all the rights and privileges of being here
legally," Kerry said in the interview.
"I think that's wrong. That defeats the purposes of the law," he said.
Cecilia Munoz, vice president for policy at the National Council of La Raza,
said Wednesday that Kerry's comments "somewhat undercut" his well-received
speech before her organization.
"Let me take a deep breath here," Munoz said after hearing about Kerry's
comments, then paused before continuing. "I guess what's frustrating is that
Senator Kerry was just at our conference making terrific proposals that
would benefit the immigrant community. ... This stand is going to be much
less well received."
Munoz said driver's licenses have nothing to do with granting legal status
or protecting against terrorism, as other opponents of the laws have
"This is one of those issues that affect people every day in their day to
day lives," Munoz said.
Kerry spokesman David Wade said Wednesday that Kerry thinks it is a state
responsibility to decide who gets a driver's license. Wade said Kerry would
not support any federal efforts to stop states from giving them to illegal
President Bush (news - web sites)'s re-election campaign did not return
telephone calls about his position on the issue. Bush also is campaigning
for the Hispanic vote, which went for Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites),
62 percent to 35 percent, in the 2000 race.
Bush's brother, Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, supported a bill to allow
illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. But the bill's sponsor
abandoned the measure last April after law enforcement officials raised
California was set to allow driver's licenses for illegal immigrants this
year, until the legislation became an issue in the state's gubernatorial
recall election. Despite protests from immigrant communities, Republican
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) signed a measure repealing the
law shortly after taking office last November. But he currently is working
with the sponsor of the original bill on another plan to grant driving
privileges to illegal immigrants.
About a dozen other states allow undocumented immigrants to apply for
driver's licenses, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
Adam J. Segal, director of the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins
University, said while some community leaders may criticize Kerry's stance
on driver's licenses, he wins points for advocating legalization for
immigrant workers and other programs to support their families.
"I wouldn't expect Kerry's stance on this issue would strongly influence
whether Latinos support him or President Bush in November," Segal said.
As part of his immigration plan, Kerry said he would offer a reform bill in
his first 100 days to allow immigrants to earn legalization, encourage
family reunification and strengthen border protections. Wade said Kerry
wants to "fix the system as a whole rather than addressing issues
"Everyone who gets legal status of course should get driver's licenses,"
Wade said. "But there are safety and other concerns with giving driver's
licenses to anybody and everybody without broader reform."
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The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004
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