- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yesterday’s guilty plea by a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) employee to conspiracy to produce and sell fraudulent driver’s licenses should serve as warning to Martin O’Malley, the illegal-alien friendly mayor of Baltimore who will be sworn in as governor today. The case of Candace Nicole Green, who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for her role in a conspiracy to produce 162 licenses, is just the most recent example of the growing problem of license fraud in Maryland.

Our prior editorials have warned about the growing problem of driver’s license fraud, including an increase of well over 200 percent between 2003 and 2005, according to the MVA, which said that part of the problem was due to immigrants and illegal aliens presenting fraudulent documents in applying for licenses. Outgoing Gov. Robert Ehrlich attempted repeatedly to work with the General Assembly to fix the problem. But it became apparent that the very liberal Democratic leadership in the legislature was more interested in staying on good terms with the illegal-alien lobby than ensuring the integrity of driver’s licenses. So, last year, Mr. Ehrlich had had enough, and he challenged the legislature to act.

The contemptuous reaction from Democrats was most revealing. For example, Mr. Ehrlich sent a letter to Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Prince George’s lawmaker who chairs a legislative committee that reviews state regulations, urging the panel to eliminate some of the most fraud-prone documents offered by persons seeking to obtain a driver’s license, including foreign school records and foreign baptismal certificates. Mr. Pinsky responded by accusing Mr. Ehrlich of trying to “bully” legislators into changing the law and saying it would be impractical to expect committee members to interrupt their election campaigns to deal with the problem of fraudulently obtained licenses. Mr. O’Malley’s spokesman also responded disdainfully.

In the final days of last year’s gubernatorial campaign, Mr. Ehrlich began running a television advertisement criticizing Mr. O’Malley’s support for legislation giving illegals driver’s licenses and lower in-state college tuition rates. Mr. O’Malley responded by accusing Mr. Ehrlich of catering to “a very reactionary and right-wing base,” and adding that he sought “to fan the flames of nativism and xenophobia.” Back in the real world, Mr. O’Malley’s spokesman has said that the incoming governor wants to make health care and education “affordable” to immigrants no matter their legal status. For Marylanders, all of this means that there will likely be new entitlement programs and more Candace Nicole Greens in their future.

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