Spitzer Folds on Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

Bump and Update: Perhaps Spitzer should have reviewed the success of New Mexico in granting licenses to the undocumented before he pulled the plug.

In 2003, New Mexico began offering driver’s licenses and identification cards to undocumented immigrants....Before the change, New Mexico had the highest rate of uninsured motorists in the nation – one in every three drivers. Now, New Mexico’s uninsured motorist rate is 10.8 percent, well below the national average of 14 percent.

Many undocumented immigrants living in New Mexico drove before the law changed. Some caused accidents. Their status as uninsured motorists put a financial burden on drivers who were legal citizens and insured.....Licensing undocumented immigrants to drive allows them to obtain insurance and helps protect New Mexicans.

This also highlights the difference between Gov. Bill Richardson and Gov. Spitzer. Richardson has a backbone.

Original Post

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who two weeks ago capitulated to the feds and weakened his drivers' license proposal for undocumented residents, has now bowed to public pressure and rescinded the plan entirely.


“Having heard that, and assessed the realities of implementing this policy, part of leadership is realizing that getting results is more important than sticking to what may be a principled position.”

No, leadership is doing what's right. Gov. Spitzer needs to get some spine.

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    I guess Spitzer didn't realize (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Nelsons on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:03:28 AM EST
    that giving licenses to illegal residents was not popular with the people of NY state, regardless of their politicial affiliation. Maybe he should have done his research ahead of time.

    He is still a wonderful leader and NY is lucky to have him.

    I wouldn't go so far.... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:59:40 AM EST
    to say he's a great leader or he's wonderful, but he did lead well in this instance.

    I think it's a sign of a good leader when they listen to the will of the people and are able to bend or change their agenda.  Too bad GDub's crew couldn't do the same when the idea to invade Iraq was on the table, and the majority of Americans spoke out against it.  That's why he's a p.o.s. leader.

    However, some issues are too important to bend even if the majority wants a leader to, the torture issue comes to mind.  I'm ashamed to admit most Americans probably support torturing terrorist suspects, but a great leader would never bend on this issue and allow torture.  Driving licenses for the undocumented isn't a life or death issue where a leader should refuse to bend to the will of their constituents.  All in my opinion of course.

    Spitzer put an idea on the table, gauged the reaction of the people he represents and rescinded it.  There's nothing wrong with new ideas...and there's nothing wrong with scrapping them when most people don't like them.


    Because we (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 06:59:59 AM EST
     anticipate that form of voter fraud will benefit us. therefore, we favor that and offer spurious rationales for actions making it easier while hypocritically denouncing forms of fraud that hurt us. Get with the program; it isn't that hard to understand.

    Proof of voter fraud? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:51:54 AM EST
    Where's your proof of voter fraud? I realize you are anticipating a problem being created and so you have none. But alleged (pdf) voter fraud is a sore subject.

    There is a case looming before the SCOTUS regarding voter fraud from Indiana.  The GOP in Indiana pass a law, that will adversely affect about 10% of the voting population to stop a non-existent problem. There has NEVER been a documented case in Indiana of voter fraud. Never. Not one.  

    Keep in mind, Florida in 2000. JEB throws everyone with a  common name similar to an alleged felon off the voter rolls. This affects mainly African American voters, who mainly vote Democratic. JEB was warned that cross identifiers are needed or legitimate voters will be disenfranchised. JEB says don't worry about it. And so George Bush, with an assist from the felonious five, becomes president, notwithstanding, the clear majority knew better and voted differently. Gaming the system, not winning the battle of who has the best ideas for the country.

    This is particularly ironic, since the voting majority is the marketplace, and the GOP is the party of 19th century economics. Let the market place decide, they say. Let the market decide. The markets know best... except when the market votes Democratic.

    Lets cry wolf instead, and then pass a bunch of laws that will throw legitimate voters, whose voting patterns just happen to be Democratic,  off the rolls to stop an imaginary problem.


    Molly, shine your flashlight on this. (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:27:55 AM EST
    Where's your proof of voter fraud?

    For starters we have this.

    If an election can turn on a sentence, this could be the one: "You don't need papers for voting."

    On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido when she uttered those words.

    That is a clear invitation for illegals to try and vote. When her statements became widely known she claimed that she "misspoke."


    Give it a rest Jim (none / 0) (#8)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 09:04:21 AM EST
    You don't have any proof of that she had intent to invite voter fraud.

    Moreover, that doesn't prove voter fraud.

    I realize you are only doing your job here, but go take a coffee break,


    This isn't a court of law (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 12:56:06 PM EST
    and I make no claim of her intent.

    I merely provide a link to the newspaper and part of the article. I even noted her claim that she misspoke.

    But I think it reasonable to wonder what she was trying to say when she "misspoke."

    You know, the Repubs want the illegals for cheap labor. The Demos want the votes.

    Both are dead wrong and harmful to the country.

    BTW - How's the new battery working out? Seems to be dim...


    Democrats want lawful votes (none / 0) (#22)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 04:28:09 PM EST
    If you are implying anything else that is a slur and you know it.

    Oh, they will hold there hands (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 05:08:53 PM EST
    over their eyes so as to not see it.

    BTW - Don't be so sensitive. People who call someone depraved shouldn't expect a lot of slack from the callee.


    Holy (none / 0) (#27)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 06:02:57 PM EST
    Mayor Richard Daley, batman!

    DeCon (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:45:09 AM EST
    is a Reagan Democrat if you know what I mean.

    Yes I kind of figured (none / 0) (#16)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    Down here in South Florida, bogus voter fraud charges remind all too much of how we descended into the 7th circle of anti-democracy hell.

    Why? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 06:48:52 AM EST

    Why is it so all consuming important to offer illegal aliens a voter registration card?

    sorry jeralyn, (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 07:58:07 AM EST
    but this issue is the proverbial no-brainer. the reasons offered in support the proposal rang shallow, more politics than sound public policy.

    when this first came up, and BTD was waving the red flag in support, he claimed, based on purported, but never identified, studies, that this would result in safer streets. i asked, several times, for the source of these studies, and never got a response.

    a reasonable person, similarly situated, might conclude that such studies exist only in the minds of those advocating for the cause. that seems harsh to me. i'll assume BTD, and you, just didn't see my request.

    I've provided the information (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:40:14 AM EST
    with links several times on why the licenses would make the streets safer. You just refuse to believe it.  You can use the "search box" on the site for any number of related terms and find it.

    Precisely why (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:44:17 AM EST
    I stopped responding to him.

    Some people will not accept what they do not want to accept.


    stopped responding? (none / 0) (#30)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:13:58 PM EST
    show me where you ever responded to begin with. oh, wait, you can't, because you never did.

    geez, don't be a total maroon.


    btw, (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 12:32:46 PM EST
    the New Mexico Insurance Identification Database I reference below when into effect at the very end of 2002, which is almost assuredly the reason for the higher auto insurance compliance rates that were observed starting in 2003 that your link references.

    In NM you don't need insurance to get a license, nor a licence to get insurance.


    gee, no you haven't. (none / 0) (#29)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:12:12 PM EST
    search terms are meaningless, when there's nothing to search.

    Good. (none / 0) (#7)
    by fafnir on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:43:28 AM EST
    Giving driver licenses to people who are here unlawfully was a idea from the jump.

    take two... (none / 0) (#15)
    by fafnir on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:58:12 AM EST
    Giving driver licenses to people who are here unlawfully was a bad idea from the jump.

    Spitzer has guts - Dem Candidates don't (none / 0) (#10)
    by MSS on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    Spitzer has guts to put out a fair licensing law for NY.

    It's the Democratic candidates who have -- once again -- folded in face of questionning from the neocons who imagine that licensing immigrants will bring an onslaught of people with brown skins into the U.S.

    Unfortunately, the neocon strategy works -- attack and never apologize. Wish the Democrats would do the same.

    mss, you really should read, (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 10:24:14 AM EST
    before you comment. it wasn't a matter of issuing to driver's licenses to immigrants, it was issuing them to illegal aliens. there is a difference.

    an immigrant, here legally, who meets all the requirements, should certainly be issued a driver's license, and they are. someone not here legally can't possibly meet the legal requirements to be issued a license, unless those are changed.

    that's the issue.


    Getting illegal aliens into the system... (none / 0) (#21)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 03:09:25 PM EST
    is part of the issue -- as well as getting them insured.

    If you run a state, and there are hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, wouldn't it be nice to have them documented somewhere?  (Along with their address and picture?)


    Why? (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 05:13:45 PM EST
    Why would you want that information unless it was to arrest and charge people involved in illegal acts??

    And if that is okay, do you agree with the FBI and LAPD pinpointing neighborhoods with many ME residents??

    But you don't agree with the latter, and you know that isn't Spitzer's aim in the former. You're just looking for excuses.

    BTW - How will you get them insured? Let me guess. Have the US citizen pay for them.


    And expired tags are, presumably, red flags that the cops will use. Registration documents typically include the owner's name, address, etc.

    Cars must be registered (none / 0) (#31)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 08:44:41 AM EST
     but they don't have to be registered in the name of the person who controls and uses the car.

      With all forms of "property registration" people who seek to  evade the purpose of that requirement (or for indirect reasons0 find it simple to do so. Many people have cars registered in someone else's name for purposes including concealing evidence of the accumulation of wealth through illegal means or simply better insurance rates. People hold property (real and personal) in other's names to evade creditors. People use other people to purchase and register firearms to evade detection and on and on.



    truthfully "documented" there are many ways to avoid it. I don't see DL's being any different in that respect...

    Well, (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 12:03:46 PM EST
    Perhaps Spitzer should have reviewed the success of New Mexico in granting licenses to the undocumented before he pulled the plug.
    maybe he did and found the real reason insurance compliance has risen so dramatically in New Mexico:
    House Bill 847 [the New Mexico Insurance Identification Database] to identify uninsured motorists and to assist in the enforcement of automobile liability insurance requirements of the state.
    iow, NM enhanced its enforcement of auto insurance laws.

    A Silver Lining (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 01:02:28 PM EST
    Has come out of Spitzer's failure though:
    But today, Mr. Spitzer and his aides began to back away from the Real I.D., saying that New York's adoption of the new license might ultimately depend on whether the Bush administration could ultimately persuade other states to come.


    New Mexico IIDB (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 05:33:56 PM EST
    New Mexico Insurance Identification Database (IIDB)

    In a bid to diminish the risk to the Citizens of New Mexico from uninsured motor vehicles operating on New Mexico highways, the 2001 New Mexico Legislature passed House Bill 847 [enacted Dec. 2, 2002] to spot uninsured motorists and to lend a hand to the implementation of automobile accountability insurance requirements of the State.

    The legislation directs the Department of Taxation and Revenue-Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) to build up and activate an insurance identification database (IIDB).

    Law enforcement officers, state agencies and courts bring into play this database to settle on whether a particular vehicle has suitable liability insurance coverage.

    The legislation necessitates the MVD to issue a managerial deferral of the offender's vehicle registration if substantiation of liability insurance is not provided by the owner's insurance company upon request.

    The MVD has contracted with Explore Information Services to go with insurance information from New Mexico insurers with vehicles registered with the MVD.

    The only process to make available testimony of insurance is by having your insurance company provide confirmation of your insurance electronically to the IIDB.

    If your insurer fails to electronically submit your policy information to the IIDB within thirty (30) days of the date of the Notice of Noncompliance you received, your vehicle(s) registration will be put on hold.

    You or your insurer may contact the IIDB at 1-866-891-0665

    another fold (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Wed Nov 14, 2007 at 08:30:34 PM EST
    I see that Hillary has folded too, finally coming out against.  I guess her polls and focus groups finally told her what to do.