Laws drawn up by the legislature often have unintended consequences. Texan law of 2011 passed a law requiring the Texas Department of Public Security (DPS) to verify proof of citizenship or legal immigration status before issuing a driver’s license. The aim was to make our roads safer by reducing the number of illegal aliens who drive on our roads. The reality of what happened is far worse than just the opposite of intent.
Instead of making our highways and roads safer, we have increased lawlessness and virtually guaranteed that every single illegal alien who drives a car will do so without insurance and without having demonstrated knowledge of driving laws and proper driving skills. In the past, at least some of the illegal foreigners drove with a driver’s license and insurance. Those days are over, and your uninsured car insurance premiums are rising to reflect this.
Texas State Representative Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas) introduced House Bill 3206 that will reverse this and allow these people trying to work and pay taxes to be responsible drivers on our roads by they both have a driver’s license and insurance.
“The bottom line is that this is for safety, for safety and for the right thing,” Alonzo said. “We all know that immigration is not a state issue, it’s a federal issue, they are dealing with it over there. This is a practical law, a practical suggestion, they drive, we know they drive and they meet their requirements by taking a test and doing whatever is necessary. “
Longtime advocate of sensible immigration reform, Norman Adams, supports this legislation. “Texans need to require these people to be licensed,” Adams told QR on Thursday night. “You can only vote if you are a citizen. Anyone who is concerned about this is misled. Maybe we could issue them drivers’ licenses that have “Non-Citizens” stamped on them to resolve concerns. “
Adams asked, “If people are rightly concerned that the immigrant population has a criminal element, why not use the DPS system, which does a criminal background check as soon as the license is obtained?”
This goes to the core of one of the key areas that are broken in our immigration system and policy. We have millions of unidentified people walking through this country. We have no idea who they are, why they are here, or what their background is. If they break the law through violent crime, they can simply move to a new area and change their name. We need a system that identifies people and tracks their backgrounds to make our streets safer.
As the current law creates more unlicensed and uninsured drivers, our roads are less safe and lawlessness increases. There are more cases of people fleeing the scene of the accident, more cases of police operations and a lot more accidents where your insurance company has to pick up the tab for an uninsured driver to hit your car. This also means that you will have to pay your deductible in the event of an accident for which you were not at fault. Lots of unintended consequences that need to be addressed.
Illegal immigration is a federal issue. Texas law and the DPS in this area have a responsibility to make our roads safer and to hold drivers accountable for their actions, regardless of their immigration status. The current law does not and needs to be established.
This calculation is by no means perfect. The legislative process must debate and amend this law to make it even more protective for Texas drivers. But it is a bill that addresses a real problem, and it is right that it should take place at this meeting and be fully discussed.