- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is finally seeing the light and embracing lawful-presence requirements for driver’s licenses, and not a moment too soon for Maryland residents (“Adrift on border security,” Opinion, Sunday). Maryland has become a magnet state for attracting illegal immigrants from all along the East Coast who want to get driver’s licenses without providing documented proof of lawful presence in the United States.

Now state residents and our dedicated law enforcement officers face the consequences of this antiquated and misguided policy. And there are significant consequences.

Every day, newspapers cite stabbings of teenagers. The fact is that these deaths are the result of turf wars among gangs. MS-13 and other criminal youth gangs are fighting over dominance in the high schools and in the illicit drug trade. Many of the gangbangers and drug dealers are not lawfully present. One reason they flock to Maryland is that they can easily obtain Maryland driver’s licenses.

The Motor Vehicle Administration needs to tighten the filters for who is entitled to a driver’s license, including strict requirements for proof of lawful presence in the U.S. Maybe then, Maryland’s residents and the cops on the beat will feel safer about just who has a driver’s license or a state-issued ID card and will be reasonably assured that each person is who his ID card says he is.

It’s encouraging to see Mr. O’Malley aligning his state with the 46 other states and the District of Columbia that already have lawful-presence requirements. When Maryland aligns itself with federal law, the end result will be safer neighborhoods and a safer country.

CHRISTIAN GLEIM

Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License

Washington

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