The LA Times reports two California cities are following LA's lead: they're no longer impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers. Scofflaws apprehended in Bell Gardens and Huntington Park can now reclaim their cars immediately-- instead of waiting a month and paying hundreds of dollars in fines and fees. Huntington Park City Attorney Francisco Leal said the impound law imposes an "unfair hardship" on the state's illegal immigrants: "There is no way these people can afford that." Immigrant rights advocate Cynthia Anderson-Barker filed a lawsuit against the state and several cities challenging the 30-day impounds. She underlined Leal's point. "The hardship on these families is just phenomenal. When the car is gone and the family loses their transportation, it pushes them further into poverty." State Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), sponsor of several failed bills to give California's illegal immigrants the right to apply for a driver's license, called for a statewide moratorium on the impounds. Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), countered that ending impounds would send a clear signal that California welcomes illegal immigrants. Imagine that.
[Interview with FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman below]