- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2007


When the Maryland General Assembly meets next month for its special session, lawmakers will debate and probably approve a package agreed to by Gov. Martin O’Malley and Democratic leadership of the General Assembly: legalized slot machines and tax increases. Unfortunately, while illegal-alien advocacy groups didn’t have to twist any arms to get Annapolis to consider tax increases, a crucial issue has yet to be placed on the agenda: the fact that Maryland is not in compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

REAL ID seeks to prevent terrorists from using driver’s licenses or other forms of identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings. If this situation does not change by May, Marylanders will be prohibited from using their driver’s licenses for these purposes.

Two federal cases just last week illustrate the problem in Maryland. In one case, U.S. District Judge Roger Titus sentenced Hector David Elvir-Hernandez of Riverdale to 27 months in prison for conspiracy to produce and sell as many as 100 fraudulently issued Maryland driver’s licenses. According to the plea agreement, Elvir-Hernandez met with driver’s license applicants — many of whom were illegals seeking identification documents. The applicants paid up to $3,800 to Elvir-Hernandez and a small group of co-conspirators for each fake license. Elvir-Hernandez and his associates arranged for applicants to travel to the Beltsville office of the Motor Vehicle Administration and directed them to the work station of Candace Nicole Green, who would then issue the licenses. Also last week, a former MVA employee named James Harrell, who also worked at the Beltsville office, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to transferring illegally producing MVA ID cards — including driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.

Maryland is one of seven states that issue driver’s licenses to illegals. How did that happen? In 2003, the General Assembly passed and Gov. Bob Ehrlich signed into law what was supposed to have been a compromise package overhauling the licensing procedures. But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph Mr. Vallario craftily managed to insert language that effectively stripped a requirement that said applicants must present a valid Social Security number. Illegal aliens cannot lawfully obtain Social Security numbers, so it’s easy to see on whose side Mr. Vallario stands. Also, when the Real ID issue came up during this year’s regular General Assembly session, Mr. Vallario raised the possibility of a two-tiered system: stricter standards for people who want to use their license to board airplanes, and weaker standards for people who “only” want to use their licenses to drive. MVA Administrator John Kuohas suggested the same thing.

Democrats in Annapolis are determined to aid and abet illegals and ensure that Maryland remains what it currently is: a de facto sanctuary state. This is what happens when law-abiding Americans stand by instead of standing up?

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