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A group called “Respect Washington” is once again trying to gather signatures for an initiative to ban driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
In 2008, Respect Washington tried to garner signatures for a similar initiative called I-409 that would have required people over the age of 14 to show proof that they live here legally before they could claim any public benefits. Needless to say, this would have banned undocumented youth and students without proper identification from high school, which is clearly unconstitutional as per Plyler v. Doe.
They tried again in 2009 with Initiative 1043, only to fail to gather enough signatures to make it to the ballot. Here’s to hoping that the initiative dies again and goes away. The state of Washington remains one of four states to grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Immigrants do not come here to drive. They come here to work. I would rather have licensed and insured drivers on the road who have passed a driving test rather than someone who has not undergone any license or registration. Having a license does not cause accidents, but reckless and irresponsible driving does do damage. It’s a public safety issue, and this misguided effort to enforce immigration laws at the state level helps no one.
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