On July 20, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill 1211 and Senate Bill 34 into law. The legislation allows the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to give “driver privilege cards” to illegal aliens in the Commonwealth. Under House Bill 1211, unlawfully present migrants in Virginia can obtain a driver’s license without presenting a Social Security Number or Tax Payer Identification Number. Similarly, Senate Bill 34 allows immigrants – regardless of their legal status – to get a “driver privilege card.” The laws go into effect on January 1, 2021.
Gov. Northam held a virtual signing with some of the bill’s sponsors from the Virginia General Assembly. Each member lauded the benefits of permitting illegal aliens to drive on public roadways legally. Virginia will join 15 other states and Washington D.C. allowing unlawfully present migrants to have some form of driver’s permit.
Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell (D-Alexandria) – a sponsor of SB 34 – touted his bill as an “important” issue for the large immigrant community in his district.
Similarly, Virginia House Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William County) – a sponsor of House Bill 1211- commended the bills’ signing with “Today is a day for justice because after 17 years, we are providing a privilege – an access to drive to these Virginians. This privilege that was taken away 17 years ago under false accusations.”
We’re living in 2020, of course, when can facts can be labeled “false accusations” by a member of a state legislature if those facts do not comport with Woke ideology. Virginia stopped issuing driver’s licenses and government issued IDs to illegal aliens because seven of the September 11, 2001 terrorists used Virginia DMV-issued documents in the commission of the attacks.
This brazen disregard for the rule of law should come as no surprise given Gov. Northam’s repeated catering to illegal aliens. In 2017, the then-Democratic nominee for governor pledged to sign legislation to ban sanctuary jurisdictions in the state of Virginia. In 2019, he went back on his word to voters and vetoed the very bill he originally vowed to sign. The year before, Northam vetoed House Bill 2270, a law which would have required local law enforcement agencies to notify Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) once the release date of a jailed foreign national was made available.
Granting a driver’s license or “driver privilege card” to illegal immigrants also poses public safety concerns. Criminal aliens can garner a form of identification under a false identity to shield themselves from authorities and possibly commit further crimes. Additionally, such measures potentially open avenues for foreign nationals from terror-prone countries to use driver’s licenses to enter airports or federal buildings and commit acts of terrorism. The national security implications alone ought to discourage proposing such careless laws.
Contrary to popular belief, issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, does not make public roadways safer. The prevalence of lack of insurance in the illegal alien community and the fear of migrants fleeing the accident scene to avoid authorities are not minor infractions. Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature’s preferential treatment of illegal aliens over lawful residents is troubling. The people of Virginia deserve better from their elected officials.