Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meanwhile, On the Driver's License Front ...

I just noticed this story from the Associated Press about the Colorado Legislature:

A proposal to grant driver’s licenses for Colorado drivers in the country illegally is expected to get its first vote Wednesday, and one Republican senator said he’s leaning toward voting in favor of the bill.
The bill highlights a changing opinion from lawmakers about immigration in Colorado, a state that seven years ago passed strict enforcement laws.
Democratic Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, the sponsor of the bill, argues that the immigrants living in the country are already on Colorado roads, and that it would benefit if they were licensed, carried insurance, and knew the rules of the road.
Mesa County Republican Sen. Steve King, a former police officer, said the proposal could improve public safety, and he’s leaning toward voting yes. However, he said he wouldn’t commit to a vote until he heard all the testimony in committee.

I saw this right after I read an email from New Mexico's Tax & Revenue Department:

SANTA FE – Two illegal foreign nationals, one of whom is part of a driver’s license crime syndicate, were arrested for fraudulently applying for a New Mexico driver license on Friday in Farmington. Jose Dolores Flores-Bonilla, a Mexican National, allegedly provided fraudulent documents in an attempt to obtain a New Mexico driver’s license. Ivan Jose Gonzales, from El Salvador, allegedly drove Flores-Bonilla from Albuquerque to Farmington in an effort to obtain the driver’s license. Flores-Bonilla, 31, a resident of Georgia, was promised a New Mexico driver’s license for $2,500 by individuals connected to a crime ring that is accused of obtaining New Mexico driver’s licenses for 40 undocumented immigrants living out of state, according to an investigation conducted by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department’s tax fraud agents. Flores-Bonilla reportedly paid $500 advance and was driven, by a yet to be identified individual, from Georgia to Albuquerque. Gonzales, a resident of Los Lunas, then drove Flores-Bonilla to Farmington to get the driver’s license. Both men were arrested outside the Farmington MVD office by the State Police after they attempted to obtain the driver’s license for Flores-Bonilla. Flores-Bonilla was supposed to pay $2,000 to his handlers once he received a New Mexico driver’s license. 
The Department’s Tax Fraud Investigations Division also uncovered that the crime ring has been operating in New Mexico for the past one-and-a-half years by using fake residential addresses and PO Boxes in the Albuquerque, Belen, Los Lunas and Rio Rancho areas. The ring also used fraudulent residential documents to obtain driver licenses to 40 undocumented immigrants from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay.
The Department is in the process of canceling the driver licenses fraudulently obtained by the 40 individuals.
Expected reaction from those who want to repeal the state law that allows undocumented residents to have driver's license: "You see, criminals are flocking to New Mexico to take advantage of this bad law!"

Expected reaction from opponents of repeal: "You see, the system is working."

And the beat goes on ...