Opposed SB 371- Solis D-El Monte April 6, 1999
Thank you Madam Chair, Ms. Solis and members of the committee, I am Rick Oltman, Western Field Director for FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Six years ago, in 1993, in this very room, at this very table in fact, I testified in favor or Senator Alquist's Bill SB 976. It was passed out of this committee, approved by the Senate and the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Wilson. Now the intent of this common sense bill was good; simply to prevent illegal immigrants from getting California Drivers Licenses. And, we are very concerned about the description of this bill that states that it would "repeal the requirement that every applicant for an original driver's license...submit proof of legal residence."
The problem of illegal aliens using forged documents is a massive one in California. The Alquist Bill attempted to prevent illegal aliens from getting and using real, valid documents which make their apprehension, removal and deportation much, much more difficult.
In item #5 of the analysis the author contends that a number of Japanese businessmen have been inconvenienced by this law, and that this is the reason for her bill. Well, that problem can be easily remedied. I suggest that current law be amended to include foreign nationals who are here legally, and temporarily. Their drivers licenses could expire when their visa expires, and, if necessary, renewed after their visa is renewed. This would also help to deal with the problem of visa overstays.
In item #6 the author states, "It also brings into question whether an agency whose essential role is the licensing and regulation for motorists should be involved in the verification for citizenship and immigrant status." It is our position that all levels of government should work together to guarantee the sovereignty of our country and our state, and at every opportunity do what it can bureaucratically to prevent illegal aliens from getting a toehold in our country.
Many people I have spoken with recently believe that the real reason for repealing the Alquist Bill is to make it easier for illegal aliens to get drivers licenses. So, and with no disrespect intended to the author, if that isn't the intention of this bill then amending it for the reasons state above would be the best choice. One last thing I would like to mention. In item #10 the author states that, "The department (DMV)... intends to inaugurate a process for the verification of social security numbers in conjunction with the federal government."
A sort of Social Security INSTA-CHECK.
We approve of that plan and would ask that this legislation enable the DMV, in fact every state agency providing services or benefits, to accomplish this checking procedure as quickly as possible.
Finally, I would say that Senator Alquist's Bill was well intentioned and resulted in good law; preventing illegal aliens from getting a valid California Drivers License.
So say to you, Don't end it, amend it.