Phyllis Schlafly

In a flip-flop to court the Hispanic vote, California Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill to allow illegal aliens to get driver licenses.

Shamelessly pandering, he signed it on Sept. 5 in front of a crowd of hundreds of immigrants and illegals who released balloons while chanting "No recall!"

Twice before, Davis had rejected the bill.

A driver license is colloquially known as the "keys to the kingdom." It is the "breeder document" that enables an alien to acquire all sorts of fraudulent documentation.

A driver license is not merely a license to drive a car. It gives the illegal alien a passport to board a plane, get a job, rent an apartment or car, open a bank account, enter a federal building, apply for social services, travel back and forth across our borders with Mexico and Canada, buy a gun and even register to vote.

Under current law, a California driver license can only be obtained by a resident with a Social Security number, and the Department of Motor Vehicles checks its validity with the Social Security Administration.

Under the new law, aliens can instead present an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number issued by Internal Revenue Service, but those numbers are worthless for identification purposes and the IRS won't share its information anyway.

U.S. Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., calls the new law an "invitation to forgery" for terrorists and criminals. That's because the new system, which lacks any credible identity check, will allow criminals of any nationality to apply for a new license under a phony taxpayer ID number and use it for illegal purposes.

An internal DMV memo obtained by KCRA, the NBC television affiliate in Sacramento, shows that the financial cost to California taxpayers will be immense when the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2003. When the 2 million illegal aliens now in California line up for their first-time driver licenses, DMV says it will need "1,000 new positions to be located in 16 new temporary field offices for 12 to 18 months of operation."

Davis ignored the big lesson of Sept. 11, 2001. All 9/11 hijackers had one or more state driver licenses, which enabled them not only to board the fatal planes but also to live and travel in the United States undetected while they plotted their crimes.

Unfortunately, California is not alone in committing this travesty. Fourteen more states allow illegal aliens to obtain driver licenses.

They are Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Phyllis Schlafly‘s column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.