Driver's licenses for illegal immigrants

Posted in the Fitchburg Forum

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#1 Mar 16, 2014
http://www.telegram.com/article/20140316/NEWS...
FITCHBURG Paralegal student Yamila Pastorino just got her license a month ago and does as much of the driving for her family as she can.

The 22-year-old said she is fearful for her parents, who are illegal immigrants and drive unlicensed to work every day to support her family. To keep them off the roads as much as possible, the native-Uruguayan, who was brought to the U.S. when she was 9, gets up at 6 a.m. to take her younger brother a Fitchburg High School football player to school and also transports him to sporting events.

"I drive because, why let them go out and take the risk?" she said.

Ms. Pastorino's Massachusetts driver's license is good for five years. She obtained it with her two-year employment authorization card under the Obama administration's deferred action program that gives a reprieve from deportation to some illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors.

"I got my license a month ago because I was not eligible before that," Ms. Pastorino said at the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center where she works. "Me and my sister qualify for deferred action and they gave me a Social Security number that says it is only good for work, and a driver's permit and license."

In Massachusetts, people are required to provide a Social Security number or a recent denial notice from the Social Security Administration as well as visa documents, to obtain a license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

But, more than a dozen states have enacted or are considering laws to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

Ms. Pastorino and 14 others who are members of the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center traveled to the Statehouse Wednesday to speak in favor of a bill in Massachusetts that would grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants living in Massachusetts.

The controversial proposal, which failed to pass the Legislature in 2010, drew heavy public debate at the Transportation Committee hearing, with opponents arguing that it would reward lawbreakers and encourage more illegal immigrants living in the country to come to Massachusetts.

However, state Registrar of Motor Vehicles Celia J. Blue joined representatives of dozens of immigrant organizations in arguing it would make the roads safer and generate revenue.

Ms. Blue said the legislation would generate nearly $15 million in state revenue through license fees and other charges, plus $7.5 million in renewal fees every five years and would ensure that drivers pass the tests and have the qualifications to be safe drivers, leading to fewer car accidents and more drivers with insurance.

"The public transportation in Fitchburg is not efficient," Ms. Pastorino said. "It was hard for me to get back and forth to Mount Wachusett (Community College), so I had to drive before I got my license. I was scared because I didn't know what would happen if I made a mistake and the police officer asked me for my license. It was a feeling of relief when I got my license, but at the same time that I felt good for me, I wish my parents have what I have."

Though Ms. Pastorino was never stopped for driving illegally, Fitchburg resident Jose Martinez was not so lucky.

From Uruguay, he has been in the U.S. illegally since 2001 and still works in demolition at age 70.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#2 Mar 16, 2014
Continued......

Nohemi Rojo Esparza, 39, and her husband are also among the estimated thousands of illegal immigrants driving without licenses in Massachusetts.

The Leominster couple, who came to the U.S. from Mexico 14 years ago, have three children ages 5, 7 and 22.

"It is scary to drive, but I have to drive to support my family," Ms. Esparza said. "I fear of being separated from my family, but I still have to maintain and provide for them. We have no other family members in this country if something does happen to take care of our kids."

Though proponents of the bill to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants like the Esparza family assert it will help keep roads safe, Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, who is a longtime advocate for public safety, and strong supporter of strengthened policies to combat the effects of illegal immigration, said he opposes it.

"I don't think it will make the roads any safer," Mr. Moore said. "The individuals who are here violated the law to be here and remain here and I don't see how granting them licenses guarantees they'll obey traffic laws any better than they do immigration laws."

Mr. Moore cited three recent serious motor vehicle accidents involving unlicensed immigrant drivers including one in Milford where Nicolas Guaman, an Ecuadorean citizen, was charged with second-degree murder and other offenses for allegedly striking and killing Framingham State University graduate Matthew Denice on Aug. 20, 2011.

"The most egregious case was the Matthew Denice case where the perpetrator was driving drunk," Mr. Moore said. "Drinking is not part of the driver's test and is illegal. Giving them licenses will not make them obey the laws anymore than they obey the laws today."

The issue needs to be addressed at the federal level, he said.

"Congress and the president need to get together and solve the problem of people who are here illegally and determine if we should extend them privileges," he said. "Illegal immigration needs to addressed - not changing our laws at the state level to make someone who is here illegally, entitled to a privilege. Driving is a privilege."

He said he was not aware that illegal immigrants eligible for deferred action could obtain licenses to driver.

"Obviously, there is a lot of confusion and inequities in immigration laws that won't get settled until the federal government takes action," he said. "Until they do, we should not extend benefits to people who are not properly here," the senator said.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#3 Mar 16, 2014
Continued......

Matthew Denice's mother, Maureen Maloney, who is anxiously anticipating an April 3 trial for the man charged with killing her son, says, "I'm not anti-immigration. I am just not in favor of rewarding people who are in this country illegally."

She added, "People who continue to break our laws without a license, working off the books, securing fraudulent documents to work at a business this is more of a planned event, they plan to come here, have children here and we shouldn't be changing our laws."

Mrs. Maloney also points to employers as part of the problem because companies "often take advantage of these people."

And even if the law is passed, she predicts many illegal immigrants will not seek a licence out of a fear of being identified by authorities.

State Rep. John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, shares Sen. Moore's view that a federal solution needs to be reached.

"It is a broad problem that reaches beyond one solution," Mr. Fernandes said.

He wants a comprehensive approach to solving the many problems that accompany illegal immigrants. That starts with a fair immigration policy, he noted.

Generally, immigrants come here for work and he said employers are part of a problem when they employ people illegally, enabling a population that is not paying taxes.

"The bottom line is there is still a population who will be unable to secure a license under this statute and they will continue to drive," he said.

"It is a complex problem, and trying to pick off one of those problems and drive a solution into it at the state level that will not be comprehensive enough to solve that problem and it relieves the federal government of responsibility to solve this problem in a comprehensive way," Mr. Fernandes said.

But Fitchburg Police Sgt. Glenn C. Fossa, who also testified at Wednesday's hearing, said the bill is a simple step to make the roads safer.

Police officers want to know who the person is that they are dealing with, he explained, and that the form of identification being used is valid and consistent.

"When I'm dealing with someone I can't identify, I'm already on edge," Sgt. Fossa explained. "The first thing I want to know is, who are you and where do you live.

"Otherwise, an officer's fear of the unknown rises, and tensions can lead to dire consequences. This identification piece allows police the peace of mind that comes with the accountability and responsibility of the person it is issued to. It is not a panacea, but a lot better than what we have currently, which is nothing."

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#4 Mar 16, 2014
This is Insane......
When we start rewarding people for breaking our laws, we are no longer a nation of laws.
Bob

Leominster, MA

#5 Mar 16, 2014
Stamos, are you havin a conversation with yourself? again? you an Lynch hang with each other? jus wondering?
Bubba

Fitchburg, MA

#6 Mar 16, 2014
Hey Lynch,

This is a crazy thought but it just occurred to me...illegals are better at being citizens than you are. Because they not only work, but now they'll be able to legally drive. Holy smokes, they've got you beat.
Civil Servant Supporter

Winchendon, MA

#7 Mar 16, 2014
Stamos wrote:
This is Insane......
When we start rewarding people for breaking our laws, we are no longer a nation of laws.
You dumbazz Stamos. We're not rewarding anyone with this proposal. I'd rather not pay the deductible on a hit-and-run, and like Fossa said-an ID on someone is invaluable. It's a win-win. Except for ultraconservatives who hate minorities-like you.

Stamos! Are you moving to NH to jump on the Scott Brown band wagon? Or are you just going to wait for him to drive by the Pheasant Lane Mall in his chicken-shit pickup truck and jump in the back?

Anyway, Shaheen will destruct him. But boy, ain't he still handsome! That lucky Gail.

See you, Stamos!

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#8 Mar 16, 2014
I'd like to hear Fossa's explanation for why drivers are licensed in the first place. It obviously can't have anything to do with ensuring that they are actually qualified to drive, could it?

I'd also like Fossa to enlighten us as to the number of laws an illegal alien can break and still remain "otherwise law-abiding." We know from the bill he is supporting that it is not one or two, so is it three? Or five? Or ten? He does not see the obvious absurdity of his line of thinking. A person could commit 100 crimes and still be considered "otherwise law-abiding" because he operated within the law the rest of the time.

What part of the word "illegal" do these morons not understand? When did they lose all common sense? Our government is allowing the invasion of criminals in direct violation of Article IV, Section IV of our Constitution. The very Constitution they have vowed to protect. They force American tax payers to pay billions to provide welfare, prison cells, educate the invaders children, free medical care, massive document fraud while stealing jobs, destroying our schools, hospitals, communities while even Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens.

What kind of message does this send to the legal immigrants that have come here legally? Why even bother going through the legal process when you can just show up under the cover of darkness then apply for a drivers license the very next day without any fear of being deported then just wait it out until these liberal morons give you amnesty out of the kindness of their hearts? These people are illegal invaders and not just "undocumented" immigrants... These people are here ILLEGALLY and are breaking our laws every day just by being here...WAKE UP PEOPLE!
Duane

Concord, MA

#9 Mar 16, 2014
Stamos wrote:
I'd like to hear Fossa's explanation for why drivers are licensed in the first place. It obviously can't have anything to do with ensuring that they are actually qualified to drive, could it?
I'd also like Fossa to enlighten us as to the number of laws an illegal alien can break and still remain "otherwise law-abiding." We know from the bill he is supporting that it is not one or two, so is it three? Or five? Or ten? He does not see the obvious absurdity of his line of thinking. A person could commit 100 crimes and still be considered "otherwise law-abiding" because he operated within the law the rest of the time.
What part of the word "illegal" do these morons not understand? When did they lose all common sense? Our government is allowing the invasion of criminals in direct violation of Article IV, Section IV of our Constitution. The very Constitution they have vowed to protect. They force American tax payers to pay billions to provide welfare, prison cells, educate the invaders children, free medical care, massive document fraud while stealing jobs, destroying our schools, hospitals, communities while even Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens.
What kind of message does this send to the legal immigrants that have come here legally? Why even bother going through the legal process when you can just show up under the cover of darkness then apply for a drivers license the very next day without any fear of being deported then just wait it out until these liberal morons give you amnesty out of the kindness of their hearts? These people are illegal invaders and not just "undocumented" immigrants... These people are here ILLEGALLY and are breaking our laws every day just by being here...WAKE UP PEOPLE!
finally someone other than Jtn that knows what they are talking about
Bubba

Fitchburg, MA

#10 Mar 16, 2014
Civil Servant Supporter wrote:
<quoted text>
You dumbazz Stamos. We're not rewarding anyone with this proposal. I'd rather not pay the deductible on a hit-and-run, and like Fossa said-an ID on someone is invaluable. It's a win-win. Except for ultraconservatives who hate minorities-like you.
Stamos! Are you moving to NH to jump on the Scott Brown band wagon? Or are you just going to wait for him to drive by the Pheasant Lane Mall in his chicken-shit pickup truck and jump in the back?
Anyway, Shaheen will destruct him. But boy, ain't he still handsome! That lucky Gail.
See you, Stamos!
You have a very unhealthily and obviously home erotic obsession with Stamos. Maybe you should try Craigslist or some other site for fruits like yourself.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#11 Mar 17, 2014
Meanwhile, in lah lah liberal land, the term "illegal alien" must now be removed from our lexicon; They are now to be referred to as undocumented Democrats.

billybob

Fitchburg, MA

#12 Mar 19, 2014
Duane wrote:
<quoted text>finally someone other than Jtn that knows what they are talking about
JTN knows what he talks ab out. I do'nt know a more level minded , clear head individual like that of jtn.

yah gotta admit it's all jus soooo fit an ff-fa-fa fun in da burg
billybob

Fitchburg, MA

#13 Mar 19, 2014
Stamos wrote:
Meanwhile, in lah lah liberal land, the term "illegal alien" must now be removed from our lexicon; They are now to be referred to as undocumented Democrats.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =y1dDINSebbwXX
true stamos, we would'nt want to offend any1 now would we?
merry xmas i meen happy holidays y-all
Andrea

Concord, MA

#14 Mar 19, 2014
billybob wrote:
<quoted text> JTN knows what he talks ab out. I do'nt know a more level minded , clear head individual like that of jtn.
yah gotta admit it's all jus soooo fit an ff-fa-fa fun in da burg
everyone loves Jtn,he's my boy-gurl
Civil Servant Supporter

Winchendon, MA

#15 Mar 19, 2014
Bubba wrote:
<quoted text>
You have a very unhealthily and obviously home erotic obsession with Stamos. Maybe you should try Craigslist or some other site for fruits like yourself.
Well, you gotta love a guy named "Bubba." Sort of reminds me of that scene in "Deliverance."

Hey Bubba, Are you from West Virginny? North Kakalacky? What part of Appalachia might you hail from you redneck SOB?

And anyway, what's between Stamos and me is between us. Unless it's you.

Right Bubba?

Since: Feb 14

Location hidden

#16 Mar 19, 2014
Ummm, maybe you should get your own screen name, something more original, and stop hijacking mine. You must be a relative of Lynch.
Civil Servant Supporter

Winchendon, MA

#17 Mar 21, 2014
Civil Servant Supporter wrote:
Ummm, maybe you should get your own screen name, something more original, and stop hijacking mine. You must be a relative of Lynch.
Oh! You somabitch! I'm gonna get you. We know who's the hijacker here. SO you better watch yourself buddy.

But anyway... Stamos! You're talking to me again! I'm blessed. Truly blessed. Now let's meet for lunch and then see if we can't rouse up a couple of illegals to report to the INS. Hell, we'll drive 'em back to Laredo ourselves, Stamos. Just hog-tie those mofos and bring 'em back where they came from. Any place like Ixtapa or the Leominster burrito joints will do for lunch. Just make sure I'm done my chile relleno before you go raiding the kitchen.

See you, Stamos!

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