From the Office of Del. J.B. Jennings:
In the early morning hours of June 22, 2010, a tragic accident occurred on I-83 involving a drunk driver which resulted in the death of his passenger. This is an accident which could have been prevented not only by the choices of the drunk driver, but also by the State of Maryland. Due to a recent law, Freddy Cortez Flores, an illegal immigrant was driving that night with a legally issued Maryland driver’s license. The law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain legal driver’s licenses; it passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor in 2009.
This accident occurred only four years after a similar accident in Howard County during the 2006 Thanksgiving Holiday. A United States Marine, at home on leave from serving in Iraq and the driver, were killed at a traffic light by a drunk driver who was also an illegal immigrant and had a blood alcohol content which was four times the legal limit. Much like the recent accident, it is one which could have been prevented, as the driver was legally driving with a Maryland driver’s license. Yet, the Maryland General Assembly remained passive on this issue.
Again, assessing this recent tragic accident and its predecessor, it raises the question should illegal residents be allowed to obtain drivers licenses in the State of Maryland? I believe the answer is absolutely NO. Let me explain my reasons.
In 2009, I, along with several of my other Republican colleagues, co-sponsored legislation (House Bill 387) that would have required Maryland to finally comply with the Federal Real ID Act passed in 2005. Unfortunately, the original co-sponsors, including myself, removed our names from the bill subsequent to the Democratic opponents’ introduction of an amendment that would “grandfather” amnesty for illegal aliens who already have a Maryland driver’s license. The passage of the “grandfather” clause is twofold. It provides amnesty for those unlawfully present to renew their license every five years without proof of lawful presence (like the drivers involved in the two accidents I mentioned). Secondly, it creates a two-tier system of licensing in Maryland that is not only confusing but continues to cost taxpayers and drives up MVA costs. Because of this law a growing total of twelve states (12) including Arizona, do not accept a Maryland driver’s license as an accepted form of identification.
As I mentioned, the original language of House Bill 387 was actually aimed at finally ending the debate, and resolving the question regarding the issuance of driver’s licenses and identification cards to illegal immigrants. The original legislation was resoundingly supported by a popular opinion poll which at the time was in agreement with the position of the original bill. The 2009 poll done by the Shaffer Center for Public Policy, University of Baltimore, February 2009 stated that 81% of Marylanders favored a single tier system Despite the overwhelming opinion to not allow illegal immigrants to legally drive, the majority party had eliminated all language from the bill requiring the requisite of being a United States citizen and having proof of documentation with a Social Security Number to be considered eligible for a Maryland driver’s license.
The need for the Majority Party to enact legislation such as the two-tier system, is based on a decision by then Attorney General Joseph Curran who declared in 2003, “that the State cannot deny someone a license based solely on his or her inability to prove legal residence” (The Maryland Gazette, December 6, 2006)
A strong influence on the Majority Party’s position is an organization called Casa de Maryland. This organization is highly influential on lawmakers, especially their votes on critical pieces of legislation concerning illegal immigration. Their committed efforts and strong hold on legislators in Annapolis are for the reason House Bill 387 was drastically modified. Similarly, it is the reason there are also proposed bills which would exempt illegal immigrants from paying non-resident tuition at public institutions of higher education in Maryland. Such bills are continually being introduced each General Session with the aid of Casa de Maryland. Moreover, Casa de Maryland continues to push their agenda on Maryland taxpayers by using taxpayer money to lobby the Majority Party’s approval for further funding in the State’s annual budget. For example, Casa de Maryland recently received $200,000 in State funding for Fiscal year 2011. In other words, our taxpayer money is going to fund an organization that supports illegal immigrants obtaining legal driver’s licenses, and influences the policy of the Majority Party concerning issues dealing with the status of illegal immigrants.
It is my position that Maryland cannot afford to continue to foster illegal immigrant drivers in our State. The Legislature’s 2009 bill and now law, is a testament to the Majority Party’s lack of will to take a monumental step forward on public safety and immigration enforcement under enacted federal law. Instead, the current policy further substantiates my conclusion that this legislative body’s intention is to facilitate amnesty, not punishment.
In the 2011 General Session this issue should be re-examined with consideration of the current consequences of the law. I will continue to take this issue to heart and I hope that my colleagues in both parties will agree. Otherwise, I believe political agendas will undermine the legislation of good public policy, and additional tragedies will be the result.
Member, House of Delegates
100% agree. Immigrants are one thing, illegal immigrants is another. If they can’t be bothered to become a legal citizen of the country they should not be afforded the same privledges, yes driving is a PRIVLEDGE, NOT A RIGHT to the citizens. Too many native born americans take it for granted that they seem to forget that.
remember not all legal imagrints are citizens!
Changing the licensing law would only have prevented this accident if you believe that this driver–who clearly didn’t have a problem with committing the more serious offense of driving while intoxicated–wouldn’t drive without a license. We can debate illegal immigration until we’re blue in the face, but we can’t pretend that illegals aren’t here, or that they’re all going to be magically deported tomorrow. Licensing programs like Maryland’s do at least increase the chance that illegal immigrants who drive will be insured and/or otherwise financially accountable in the event of an accident. An imperfect solution, to be sure, but probably better than the alternative.
Bruce O'H. says
This is a clear cut example of the politicians acting in direct opposition to the best interests of the legal citizens of Md., for their own political benefit. As far as HP’s contention that illegals would just drive without one anyway, if they weren’t offered all of the benefits of legal citizens in the first place, they likely wouldn’t be here. In other words, if the drivers license weren’t the draw that brought that illegal here, the person killed on June 22nd would still be alive.
You don’t have to “magically deport” them. You simply stop intentionally attracting them, start enforcing current immigration laws, and they “self deport”.
Of course, the traitorous Democrats don’t want to do that because they register each person to vote who receives a drivers license in Md. Congratulations, we now have foreign nationals voting in OUR elections.
Racist? You bet I am, I hate a traitorous Democrat.
Unfortunately, they are attracted by work….by employers that want to save a buck (or several) on their payrolls. If they didn’t have the opportunity to be hired by an employer, most wouldn’t be here (I would guess).
Report employers. Go up to them and ask them if their workers are legit. Ask to see their I-9’s and green cards and visa’s.. You can do that. If they refuse, report them everywhere you can like ICE, Irs and comptroller of treasury fraud division, workmens comp and many other places that will do the checking for you. Don’t forget to tell the employer that!!
Not from Here says
Seems to me I had to present a Social Security number when I went to work. The business people hiring illegal immigrants are where the government should crack down. If they don’t have JOBS, they will not stay. But politicians don’t want to mess with the business people because the politicians would have something to lose.
the politicians want their votes so they not doing anything about it but you can..
John M. Paff Jr. says
nana, not all politicians…… http://www.daggerpress.com/2010/06/20/paff-securing-maryland%E2%80%99s-borders-and-economy/
John with all due respect have you been elected yet? If you are I hope you follow through but sadly I suspect your will catch Annapolis/Potomac fever like the rest of them and forget to get around to it!
John M. Paff Jr. says
coolnana, if you are the nana from baltimore sun I know your stance on immigration and knew what you were referring to..I was just giving you an option as opposed to my current elected officials. one who was not present for casa voting and the other who voted to fund casa….
Cdev, If elected I will never catch Annapolis fever, I have two beautiful redhead reasons to only do what is right!
Billy Jack says
As you have two beautiful red headed reasons to do what is right, so the people who work at CASA advocate for the children of immigrants, both legal and not. Would you suggest a child should suffer from hunger, homelessness, or deprivation of any kind simply because their parents are undocumented? I remind you, it is not the fault of children for the behavior of their parents, nor should they suffer for it.
John M. Paff Jr. says
Billy Jack, your reply sounds very similar to a few of our elected officials. I am sick of the same old threats for the tax and spend policies of Annapolis. “But what about the children” or “We’ll need to cut police and fire”. If you hear an elected official say either of these, watch out! Casa de Maryland should secure their own funding. Our state budget is not “catholic charities”. As a catholic, I donate through my church every year. However, my tax dollars should not be given to a group who supports people committing crimes. If the children of illegals are hungry or in need of shelter, they can go to any church in their community and be given the help they need! If Hugo Chavez wants to donate to Casa that is his choice, but in Maryland we can not afford to be so fiscally irresponsible!
I agree pizzle sadly we as a society are not willing to pay the large cost of goods that would be associated with this. Additionally no one wants to go after the buisness owner, whom I think is a big back staber, that employs them. If you want to seriously rid this country of illegals then start by vigorously prosecuting buisness owners who hire illegals. Punishments should include large fines, forfoieture of assests and consecutive prison sentences. Then you can try roundups and secure the borders.
Business owners that hire illegals may face a double jeopardy situation. If the employer asks for proof of citizenship, the owner is open to civil lawsuits for harassment, racial prejudice, discrimination and other violations of the person’s civil rights.
The day workers are hired because they show up. They are paid for work done and can choose to work or not, but the employer doesn’t bear any responsibilty for the worker, and both achieve the goal of finishing the job.
Many of the day workers are contracted by the legal contractor, not the business owner. It is catch 22 situation, a friend of a friend of a friend hires for the day to help a friend through a jam. Verizon, comcast, BGE, all contract work to legitimate contractors, who then hire friends to fill in and help. The costs generated by the small business people cannot compete w/ the “gov’t controlled” businesses in salary, unions and benefits, so day workers get some cash to be able to purchase food for themselves and their families.
Although your premise has merit, if the playing field was even, it may work, at this point, it does not.
The I9 form is required for employment. If the send in bad SS#’s on w-2’s they get a letter back. If they fail to follow up that is their problem! If BGE contracts out then the contracter is responsible for his employees. Sorry does not cut it!
New to Aberdeen says
I couldn’t Agree more JD,
HP you say that “licensing programs like Maryland’s do at least increase the chance that illegal immigrants who drive will be insured and/or otherwise financially accountable in the event of an accident”, I’m not so sure legal immigrants are insured and finanically accountable.
Go J.B. Jennings
as a victim of an accident with a drunk illegal alien and who suffers severe permanent damage and is in pain every second of every day, I will forever blame O’malley and the elected officials who went against the citizens of this bill and took the sides of an illegal alien. I am faced with several liens while this illegal alien is out there somewhere probably driving with another legit md license. He skipped out and states attorney said not unusual.. What’s the matter with public transportation to get to their jobs that they are taking away from our citizens. I did it with 3 kids every morning and every evening. Are they better than us? Do they deserve more than us? If not, then why in the hell are we spending almost $2billion a year in md paying for illegal aliens? Why are we allowing illegal aliens to drive, work our jobs including state highways and landscaping projects and welfare because of their “many” anchor babies and sometimes sec 8 free housing, food stamps and the rest of the freebies. Many are getting these freebies using fake or little id.. They are also voting this way. The taxpayers of md and our country are being scammed. Why is the economy so bad? With at least 30 million in our country taking our jobs and scamming our $$ what else can we expect? I’m fed up with our md governor and his cronies saying we have about 250,000 illegal aliens in md. Geezus, look at moco and pg county. Look at baltimore city. The streets are lined up with their businesses and the paper boxes on the corners are all latino papers. I feel like i’m in little mexico. BTW many of their business’s are operated illegally with little or no permits. Many are expired also. Report them. Walk into their business and ask to see their permits. You have that right. Speak up people. Act on it. Report them. Our families depend on it. If you want to know how I know they are illegal its because of the stats. Most are here illegally even after 10 years because they benefit more by staying illegal than getting a legit social security card and other legit id’s.. Thanks to our elected officials. Vote smart. See what they voted on and sponsored.
@ New to Aberdeen. You said in your comment that at least they have insurance, well the accident I was involved in with an illegal alien had borrowed a friends car who only had 20k worth of insurance on it. Kinda shocking isn’t it!! Try paying expenses and attorneys on that while your permanently injured..
Bruce O'H. says
Maryland is a “magnet” State, one of seven who will issue a drivers license to illegals. In effect a sanctuary State set up to attract as many illegals as possible. While they may have left their home countries for employment and a better life, they choose Md because of the benefits she offers to them specifically.
If, as I stated above, the immigration laws were enforced, then employers would be prosecuted for hiring illegals. Jobs would dry up, and they would find “sanctuary” elsewhere. Hopefully San Francisco.
Illegals are actively being encouraged to migrate to Md, in great numbers, by the Dem Party, to further guarantee their political hold in perpetuity, whether that negatively impacts your life or causes YOUR death, or not.
To the politicos, YOU are the second class citizen, good only as a source of revenue to sweeten the pot for the new political favorites who will be loyal to the Dems for generations.
You foolish, foolish, people are aiding in forever changing the country that gave you every blessing that you enjoy. One that your grandchildren will never know, if this is not stopped.
Mark N. says
Drive down to the area of Rte. 7 and Joppa Road (the BP Station on Rte. 40) in the early morning hours. A group of 6 or 7 Hispanic fellows walk from a house on Rte 7 down to the corner. A van shows up, the “selectees” hop in the back, and off they go.
I asked them once, “Do you have a drivers’ license? A “green” card?” Guess what!? All of a sudden … NO HABLA ENGLISH!!!
I spent 4 1/2 months trying to find employment this winter. Had to do a mortgage modification to keep my house!
O’Malley and Obama be damned! Take care of your citizens/voters FIRST! You know, those of us who OBEY the laws that you so blatantly disregard and/or disrespect!!!
@MARK. TELL ME MORE ON RT 40 ETC. ADDRESS ETC. DO YOU KNOW WHO IS PICKING THEM UP? IS THERE A BUSINESS NAME ON THEIR TRUCK? WHAT IS THEIR ADDRESS WHERE THEY LIVE? CALL CODE ENFORCEMENT IN THAT COUNTY. AGAINST THE LAW TO RENT TO MANY IN ONE HOME. REPORT THEM. EVERYTHING CAN BE DONE ANNONYMOUS..
This situation has been going on long before either President Obama or Governor O’Malley were even thinking of running for office. How in the hell do you see this as their problem? The truth is that the Republican controlled congress and White House did nothing about this problem (except propose an ecologically disastrous while non-tenable border fence program doomed to failure; ignoring the fact that most illegal immigrants into the United States come across border crossings or fly in, they do not hike or swim across the Rio Grande). You are delusional if you think this is Mr. Obama’s or Mr. O’Malley’s problem.
your too funny.
Coolnana: Your objection to “little Mexico” and Latino newspapers would appear to be one against the presence of Latinos in general, not specifically illegal immigration. And when you speak of “their businesses,” how can you tell by looking at a business whether it is being operated by an illegal immigrant? Again, what seems to upset you is Latinos, rather than Latinos (or others) who enter the country illegally.
Mark N. says
Simple freakin’ solution! Just ask to see I.D.’s. Birth certificates. Make ’em PROVE IT!!! If someone’s here legally there’s no problem. I’m sick and tired of being called “politically incorrect” just because I want to make sure that our laws are being obeyed and the folks who are entitled to the priveledge (not a right, THE PRIVeLEDGE) to legally reside in this country!) Stop taking my jobs and raising my taxes so we can “support” these poor, disadvanteged, NON-TAX-PAYING, UNDERGHROUND ECONOMY LOWLIFES!
MArk prove you are legal resident for me right now and also prove you are not growing pot in your house by searching it. I will send the police. After all if you have nothing to hide then you have no problem with them digging through your stuff.
Your comments to Mark are out of line for at least 2 reasons. The Az. law states that if you are committing a crime, then the officer can ask for id and then prove that you are either here legally or not. If you commit a crime here in MD, you are not asked to prove anything. I give the Az. Gov.Brewer and her state congress and senate praise for standing up for Az. citizens, and I am angry that the DOJ is wasting multimillions of $ on the lawsuit when it ought to be preventing the crimes that the New Black Panthers committed in Phila. during the 2008 Nov. elections. The NBPanthers ought to be charged as a terrorist organization and prosecuted for its crimes of hate mongering and threats to Americans…any and all Americans.
Mark did not specify his comments to the AZ law. He was making a general statement. I was simply pointing out the dangerous road he is going down with that thinking. I have no problem with the AZ law as is. I in fact think a law was not needed but a simply executive order on police enforcement. That said I do not think they are truly going to solve the problem with such a policy alone.
You said my comments where out of line for two reasons. What was the second?
How do you know these people are illegal? How do you know your taxes support them? Who gave you the right to ask anyone for ID or that they have to prove anything to you? You are a racist…and will use your bias and bigotry to harrass people that you suspect to be here without papers…
Why don’t you get a job instead of asking the govt to get you a mortgage modification? Why don’t you ask the guy that picked them up to give you a job?
@cisco. Before you continue to humiliate yourself, you truly need to do some research. Its all over your pc. NoT only are many on welfare because of their anchor babies. You know, they come here poor in search of a better life for themselves by having babies so their neighbor taxpayer can support them through college while they work cash jobs. They come here for a better life to scam the united states citizens and demand we pay them mega $$ because they think they deserve our $$.. They don’t want to follow our laws and they get pissed when they get deported when they break our laws. They carry their drugs and weapons across our borders and demand we take them into our homes and our hearts bs. These people are not the immigrants of yesteryear. our ancestors never had babies until they could afford them and not rely on others to feed,clothe, and house their kids. Get Real cisco. Go look at how many are illegal in this country after 10 years. Look how many are breaking the laws and scamming. Its all coming to an end. Either do it right or get the hell out of our country. We sick of paying for you to break the laws. We sick of you demanding we owe you. We owe you crap. I wish we enforced Mexico’s immigration laws. Somehow your mexican Government knows how to produce good laws..
HP. I probably did sound that way to you but I know all the stats and we go around and check their business permits and many don’t have them. I also know that most are still illegal after 10 years and many are scamming tax $$ like the $1.4 billion spent in md last year while many are working and many are on welfare. I don’t care what it sounds like to anyone else. I know I’m right. God Bless the ones that are working hard to make a life for themselves in America going through the channels like your suppose to do. Our families did it. Doing what we do, we have met many hispanics and have befriended many. They know the difference between right and wrong. Sadly many don’t!!
Who is we?
Magik Columbine says
Amen to this.
@John. Don’t take comments personally. I did not mean “all” but lets say the majority!!
Billy Jack says
Coolnana, formerly known as amdactivist, you tend to personalize everything. As I have stated to you in the past, I sympathize with your situation but the accident occurred because the individual was drunk, not because he was here illegally. While you have a right to your stance on this and all subjects, you have previously stated online that you take comfort in “driving around looking for suspicious looking brown skinned people”. You have crossed a line between activist and vigilante with this statement.
It is clear to me also, that you use information presented on this site as fodder for your witch hunt, and it is not meant to be used as such.
Read some of her Baltimore Sun stuff….it is pure comedy!
She even has used both names on the Baltimore Sun and denied being the same person!
lol. am i that important? I should run for office and show you all how its done..
you mean there is another brillian person like me on the dagger? My space is more for kids.. enjoy
billy jack, I could care less who you are or what you think. I do consider myself an activist. You have a problem with that also? Now go bend over on someone else and leave me alone..through the years i seem to only offend those here by anything other than a legal status.. so go away or i’ll report your arse.
billy jack. did they throw you off my space again for going after people who are on the right side of the tracks? Glen Arm?
Does Del. Jennings take issue with the small businesses he champions hiring these illegal immigrants to work in kitchens and yards? Would Del. Jennings be willing to sponsor a bill that fines a business $250 per illegal immigrant per day of employment?
Let’s see, if a local restaurant hired an illegal who worked in the kitchen for 100 days before getting busted, that would be a $25,000 fine. Rather than just seek to make headlines in The Dagger, let’s see Del. Jennings actually do something about his “problem” with illegals.
If businesses weren’t hiring them, they would not be here.
The first step is to enforce the laws that we already have and the create laws to fix those issues that bring harm to MD citizens.
ENFORCE ENFORCE what we have will be the first step.
The problem with your thinking Mr. Jennings is that it is NOT the state’s place to determine if a resident is a U.S. citizen or not. That power lies with the Federal Government. And despite what is happening in Arizona, if the Federal Government in your estimation does not do what it is supposed to, then work to elect officials that will; it is NOT within the constitutional ability of a state to individually modify or manipulate federal laws unless written specifically that way into the federal legislation. We have the right as a state to verify residency as in or out of state, but not as in or out of country. Therefore a resident of Maryland should, by law, be able to get a driver’s licence providing they can document their residency in this state.
As far as the issue with the drunk drivers you discuss; these are two tragic cases to be sure, but as politicians so often do you now wish to separate out specific cases to inflame the passions of the public without seeing the bigger picture. Alcohol abuse has NOTHING to do with immigration, legal or illegal. The truth is that citizens of Maryland get drunk and cause drunk driving deaths at the same rate, if not higher, than do undocumented workers. I would respect you much more if you used these tragic occurrences to fight for reforms in public transportation, public education, and other measures that will keep drunk people off the roads to begin with.
Bs. it is not only a federal problem. You sound like omalley. He has the power to do just about anything he wants to do but won’t.. Employers have to be punished for hiring illeghal aliens. Too many free programs for them to use. So useit..
Bruce O'H. says
Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.
That’s what the Fed Govt’s job is. If they, for any reason, do not discharge their obligation, the State can protect itself. Otherwise, it would be the same as someone telling you that you’re not allowed to defend yourself from an aggressive, life threatening burglar in your own home because that’s the job of the police dept.
Of course, this State is importing illegals, and if some of them are MS13 and a few Maryland citizens get killed, oh well, ya gotta break some eggs…