Maine Licensing Laws Give Illegal Immigrants "keys to the Kingdom"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Under the “Real ID Act,” the federal government will no longer recognize a state’s driving license unless the state procures certain types of personal information, including proof of U.S. citizenship. The bill was watered down– states can ignore the restriction as long as they print a disclaimer on their license— and its enforcement postponed until 2010. Meanwhile, WCSH reports that “fixers” are busing illegal immigrants into Maine to secure a driving license. The DMV’s hands are tied, due to an executive order banning all state employees from asking anyone about their immigration status. As the report points out, once an illegal immigrant has a Maine driving license, they are free to purchase a gun within the state.

Robert Farago
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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jul 16, 2007

    Shoot, Jabdalmalik. You know, things are a lot different from the way they were in the 19th, and early 20th century. Back in those days, the United States had a frontier, and back in those days, we didn't have an income tax. Today we have federal and state income tax, and property taxes, and all sorts of entitlements that these taxes pay for. Thus, in the old days, the immigrants truly had to support themselves without any help from Uncle Sam. Today, a higher percentage of Latin American immigrants than native-born citizens are on welfare (around 75% of immigrants both legal and illegal come from Latin America). According to the US National Academy of Sciences, the average Californian family pays an extra $1178 in taxes to support immigrants. Here is some more info from the Center for Immigration Studies, which you will no doubt find informative: The National Research Council has estimated that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers, while most taxes paid by immigrants go to the federal treasury. The net deficit is caused by a low level of tax payments by immigrants, because they are disproportionately low-skilled and thus earn low wages, and a higher rate of consumption of government services, both because of their relative poverty and their higher fertility. This is especially true of illegal immigration. Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care are significant. California has estimated that the net cost to the state of providing government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year. The fact that states must bear the cost of federal failure turns illegal immigration, in effect, into one of the largest unfunded federal mandates. Now mind you, there is nothing wrong with immigration per se. But to borrow from President Clinton, it’s the numbers, stupid! None of these costs, and none of the environmental costs would be a problem if immigration were kept to 100,000-200,000 a year. But we’re taking in between 1-2 million a year, maybe more, and they are having babies far faster than native US citizens. (My sister is a public health nurse who seems them come in baby after baby for care that is paid for by the taxpayers.)

  • Jabdalmalik Jabdalmalik on Jul 17, 2007

    $1178 in taxes per year per family seems like a tiny price to pay for the massive benefit that immigrants are bringing to California's economy. That they're also a strain on the state's resources is lamentable, but the way to fix that problem isn't to crack down on immigrants - it's to get the federal government to step up to the plate and dole out the munniezz. Indeed, I'm highly suspicious of any thinktank that harps on about the immediate costs of immigration without any eye to the longterm benefits these shortterm outlays are bringing communities and the nation. Every child of illegal immigrants we spend thousands of dollars educating is going to go on to pour many times that back into the system in the form of taxes he'll be paying over the course of his life, and in the form of consumer spending he'll be stimulating the economy with. We should continue to provide healthcare, welfare, and education for poor illegals for the exact same reason we provide it for poor citizens: because ultimately it's good for the economy (not to mention the only morally justifiable stance). As for the descendants of Latin American immigrants eventually outnumbering whitebread Americans I could really care less. I'm sure there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Massachusetts when it became clear the Irish were going to outnumber the Anglos in a few decades, or in the Midwest with the Germans. They'll integrate, just like every other wave of immigrants has before them, and our nation will be the better for it. As for your sister, you can console her with the fact that in a few years, if we're lucky, we'll have universal healthcare and everything she does will be paid for by taxpayers.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jul 17, 2007

    The think tanks do look at the long term picture. And as a whole, the latin American immigrants are a net drain on the economy. Over their lifetimes, the entitlements they receive are greater than the taxes they pay. You can look up a lot of this stuff at And universal health care, which I hope we will have but I'm not holding my breath, is not going to mitigate the problems my sister sees. (FWIW since she's a public health nurse working for the gov't the taxpayers pay for her services.) Your comment about having the feds dole out the money is mysterious to me. The Feds R Us. It's not free money.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jul 17, 2007

    The notion that people have a right to enter our country illegally is like saying that homeless people should have a right to squat in your home.