Skip to comments.Opinion: Frist derailed bill to keep illegal immigrants off airplanes
Posted on 04/27/2005 1:20:41 PM PDT by Charlesj
Article published Apr 27, 2005 DELIVERING YOUR WORLD The News-Press Subscribe
Opinion: Frist derailed bill to keep illegal immigrants off airplanes
Move would deny driver's licenses
By DICK MORRIS
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist may have just killed his hopes to be the Republican nominee for president in 2008 by coming out against a proposal to bar illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses.
All but one of the 19 9/11 hijackers had a valid driver's license. In a bid to tighten our security, House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wisc., is pushing legislation to make it illegal for a state to issue a driver's license to an illegal immigrant. At the moment, he's trying to pass it into law as an amendment to the Supplemental Defense Appropriation Bill.
Licenses are the main American form of ID; in our nationwide post-9/11 security upgrade, they have become, in effect, passports for air travel.
Yet 10 states now permit illegals to get licenses. And many more have porous systems that, de facto, do the same by asking only that the applicant produce a Social Security number. (New York officials recently discovered that one Social Security number had been used to get 57 driver's licenses!)
The Sensenbrenner bill would require states to ascertain that the applicant is here legally before granting him a driver's license that would be recognized as adequate identification to board an airplane. (States could also offer "soft-ID" licenses, which would not be adequate for air travel.)
Even though this measure is a vital part of our battle against terrorism, liberal Democrats and some big business Republicans are opposing it the former on civil-liberty grounds, the latter because it would interfere with making money.
Knowing full well that a Democratic filibuster loomed in the Senate, House Republicans chose to tack the license ban onto the Intelligence Reform Bill the president was pushing last year. They knew that Democrats wouldn't dare filibuster the bill and their amendment could pass with a simple majority in the upper chamber.
But President Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert got Sensenbrenner to pull back that amendment in return for their commitment to let him attach it to another piece of "must pass" legislation early in 2005. He decided to cash in on this commitment by tacking it onto the Supplemental Defense Appropriation Bill. Nobody is going to filibuster a bill to fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the middle of a war.
But now Sen. Frist has come out against amending the Defense Spending bill. He claims that he wants to "defer" consideration of a license ban until it can be part of a broader debate on immigration one that he knows full well will run headlong into a Democratic filibuster.
By this sleight of hand, Frist hopes to set the ban on licenses for illegal immigrants up for a Democratic kill later in the year and avoid getting the blame.
Why are some Republicans trying to derail a measure vital to our national security? Because big business interests e.g. agricultural interests oppose the legislation, mostly so they can go on hiring illegals.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, once more leading the way, has repealed a law (passed under his ousted predecessor) that let undocumented workers get licenses.
When I worked for President Clinton, I proposed again and again a ban on licenses to undocumented people. I urged that licenses to non-citizens expire when visas do and that anyone found driving without a license be referred to the INS and the FBI to see if they are here illegally or are on a terror watch list. Clinton, under pressure from liberals, wouldn't agree.
When Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 attacks was pulled over in Florida for driving without a license, he got a summons and was sent on his way, a free man.
Some have described the GOP debate over licenses for illegals as a fault line between the cultural conservatives and business interests. It is really more like a division between those who put protection against terror first versus those who prefer to curry favor with campaign contributors who want to hire illegal immigrants.
By blocking efforts to attach the license ban to the defense appropriation, Frist is siding with those who put profit ahead of national security.
Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. He is the author of "Because He Could," about Bill Clinton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybe we should start thinking of Sensenbrenner for Pres. at least he seems consistent.
I can tell you from experience that it is tougher for a 16 year old teenager to get their DL in Tennessee than for an ILLEGAL ALIEN.
You know, Heaven forbid we ever get hit again like 911, but I am beginning to think that something like that is the only thing that will wake people up to the dangers posed by this type of insanity - open borders, drivers liscenses for all comers, etc...
U have come to the conclusion that NYC was hit because it is full of rude and obnoxious people, who could care less about the rest of the united states
Unfortunately the odds are we will get again, how will th epoliticians appease the American people, or will they be able to and still hold onto their offices?
In large part because all had entered the country legally.
I don't at all support driver's licenses for illegal aliens, but the other side's argument is that the 9/11 hijackers were not illegals, so what good would it have done if a law prohibiting licenses for illegals had been in place at the time?
IOW, if we don't want documentation given to illegals, let's just say so, not somehow contrive to tie it to 9/11 and homeland security.
I mena, why not just say, "We don't need any more wetbacks"?
I will probably be voting for Tom Tancredo since, even ignoring the terrorism aspect, I believe the flooding of illegals into this country is the greatest danger we face. The costs for schooling, hospitals, jailing, etc. in California alone is about 10 billion a year. Different language, in which most are illiterate anyway, plus culture with the negatives of corruption acceptability and no emphasis on education and poor as dirt and millions of new poor babies....For my money, Bush has outspent any Democrat, is a one-worlder like his daddy, and is a traitor on this subject. But don't mention his wanting to mental health screen all our schoolchildren or I'll really get mad.
Well, that's what I've said for a year. A sufficient portion of the American public still doesn't "get it."
"I can tell you from experience that it is tougher for a 16 year old teenager to get their DL in Tennessee than for an ILLEGAL ALIEN."
I remember going to the testing station in West Nashville to get fingerprinted for my CCW. I have never met a conglomeration of more surly half-wits in my life. They give you the impression they are doing you a favor just to let you in the building. Or maybe it was just the ones I was dealing with.
Must just be West Nashville. My sons all got their DL's in Lebanon where Tennessee State Troopers administer the tests. They are all neatly dressed and professional, and kind, but firm.
Illegal immigration is totally our of control, and the White House could care less about the American people. The only thing they care about is cheap labor, and to hell with the American public.
This is the "Two-Party Cartel" owned & run by the elites who don't ever have the peoples interest ahead of theirs. If it weren't for talk radio & this Internet they so-called conservatives would be rolling with the dems on all issues. It is only us pushing these robots that we get a fair hearing. Now after Frist takes a hit it will be , let's say, Santorum, then another & another. This game has been played for decades.
"Illegal immigration is totally our of control, and the White House could care less about the American people. The only thing they care about is cheap labor, and to hell with the American public."
This is an old article. Real ID was removed to try to stop other amendments.
Real ID is part of the bill.
Yesterday, minority leader Reid said the dems will not try to stop it.
Bush has endorsed passage of Real ID numerous times.
You are a hoax.
You're an idiot, Benny. Bush is the hoax. The article was printed today, jerk.
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