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LICENSES: Why does Washington do this?

Letter by Marilyn Martinetto, Steilacoom on Aug. 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm with No Comments »
August 17, 2010 12:51 pm

Your editorial today (8-17) is reasonable.

I read the same Associated Press article (TNT, 8-15) citing movement to states providing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Though I would rather prevent illegal entrants from entering and staying, Utah’s solution is logical.

Utah ensures its licenses enable driving only, unlike Washington and New Mexico, the only two other states issuing drivers licenses to illegals. Washington and New Mexico issue identical licenses to U.S. citizens and illegal entrants. Those licenses are used as ID in those states.

Washington state uses its driver’s licenses as proof of eligibility to vote, and allows online voter registration using license number. There is an online oath, but people entering illegally, buying forged documents and lying to employers (if employers even ask) because they only want to work here, not live or bring in relatives, etc., may include voting if candidates promise easier entry and benefits.

If the licenses function as argued – to ensure knowledge of driving, laws and purchase of insurance – then a separate license for non-citizens is sufficient. (If their license from homeland isn’t preferred.)

But licenses don’t ensure fellow U.S. citizens drive with insurance, registration, etc., as caseloads for driving without them already show.

Why is Washington state choosing to issue licenses used as ID, and why does Washington state do this knowing the other ways those licenses are used, including voting?

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