What's the harm in allowing illegal aliens to have driver's licenses? After all, they're just all here innocently doing the jobs Americans won't do, right? And since they're already here, we might as well let them drive legally, right? We'll all be safer, right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Driver's licenses are tickets into the American mainstream. They allow residents to establish an identity and foothold into their communities. They help you open bank accounts, enter secure facilities, board planes -- and drive tractor-trailers carrying hazardous materials.
But there aren't any illegal aliens out there who would use fraudulently obtained driver's licenses to threaten Americans, right? That's just xenophobic scare-mongering, right?
Last week, law enforcement officials arrested an illegal alien enrolled at a Smithfield, R.I., tractor-trailer training school who was trying to obtain a commercial driver's license and permit to haul hazardous materials. Not many people paid attention. You should. Illegal alien Mohammed Yusef Mullawala, 28, of Jamaica, N.Y., had obtained driver's licenses from New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. He was reportedly in a hurry to get a commercial driver's license and a permit to haul hazardous cargo.
Because he's just so passionate about the job, right? Yeah.
A joint investigation was initiated by investigators from the Rhode Island State Fusion Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force in Rhode Island, New York & New Jersey, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after driver's school officials became concerned about his suspicious behavior. "His behavior was consistent with terrorist-type activity," Maj. Steve O'Donnell of the Rhode Island state police told the press. "He showed no interest in learning the fine art of driving a tractor-trailer. He had no interest in learning how to back up." Sort of like learning how to steer a plane, but not take off or land.
As in several other cases since 9/11, it was alert private citizens who notified the Department of Homeland Security of Mullawala's suspicious behavior. (They will no doubt be labeled Islamophobes and bigots by the usual grievance-mongering mob.)
And once again, it was enforcement of immigration laws that played a critical role in detaining him. Like some of the 9/11 hijackers and several al Qaeda operatives identified in the United States over the past decade, Mullawala was here on a temporary student visa that he had overstayed.