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Illegal Immigrants Can Get A Driver’s License in Utah, Washington, and New Mexico

August 14, 2010

Since Arizona passed its laws requiring documentation of legal immigration in order to get work and get a driver’s license, some say that states like Utah, Washington, and New Mexico have created a booming business in issuing illegals drivers’ licenses:

The immigration debate has thrown a spotlight on the license programs, which supporters say make financial sense because unlicensed drivers typically do not carry car insurance. Opponents insist the laws attract illegal immigrants and criminals.

“Washington state and New Mexico have been magnet states for the fraudulent document brokers, human traffickers and alien smugglers for years,” said Brian Zimmer, president of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, a nonprofit research group in Washington, D.C.

State officials in New Mexico dispute that claim…

…there is mounting evidence that the spike in license applications is a result of pressure on immigrants in states such as Arizona and Oklahoma, where police have been authorized to help enforce federalimmigration laws.

Republican lawmakers in New Mexico and Washington state have pushed to tighten the laws in recent years, only to be thwarted by Democrats. The issue is less heated in Utah, where illegal immigrant licenses carry only driving privileges. People cannot use the IDs to board a plane, get a job or buy alcohol, for example.

New Mexico issued 10,257 licenses to immigrants through the first six months of 2010, compared with 13,481 for all of 2009. The pace has intensified since April, when neighboring Arizona passed its immigration law. The figures include both illegal immigrants and legal residents from outside the U.S.

• New Mexico issued about 417 licenses a week to immigrants from the day after Arizona passed its law through July 1. That is a big jump from the 323 per week it was issuing from Jan. 1 to the day before the law passed.

• Utah handed out 41,000 illegal immigrant licenses for 2010 through June 7, compared with 43,429 for all of 2008. Utah did not provide data for 2009.

• Washington granted 3,200 licenses to people from outside the U.S. through June, exceeding the pace of 5,992 for all of 2009…

The AP analysis of data in the three states revealed some striking numbers: The rate of licenses issued to immigrants during the 10 weeks that followed approval of the Arizona law reflected a 60 percent increase over the annual average for last year.

By comparison, the rate of licenses issued to non-immigrants during the same period increased only modestly.

So how does one get a license when in the country illegally?  In states where obtaining a driver’s license is legal even if you’re illegal, there is no hard data on what form of i.d. must be shown to obtain a license.  Does a Mexican i.d. card count?

New Mexico, Motor Vehicle Division Director Michael Sandoval cautioned that it’s impossible to identify any specific cause-and-effect linking the Arizona law to illegal immigrants relocating in New Mexico because of the way the licenses are issued.

The state does not require clerks to document where immigrants moved from. And clerks cannot ask if someone is in the country illegally.

As a result, there’s no way to distinguish between a license issued to a Swiss chemist employed with a visa at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a license assigned to a Mexican laborer in the U.S. illegally.

Washington state immigrant advocate David Ayala said it’s better for drivers to have licenses, especially from a public safety standpoint.

“The people who are driving in the streets need to be tested that they have the knowledge and ability to be on the highway,” said Ayala, organizing director of a group called OneAmerica.

People with licenses, he added, “have a more normal life. They can cash a check. They can rent an apartment. They can have insurance for the car.”

“A normal life” in America illegally is something that many Americans directly dispute.  What’s so normal about breaking federal laws?  But, according to immigration advocates, the testing for driving ability is a strong indicator of protecting public safety.  The problem is that a driver’s license isn’t used just to determine the simple physical ability to drive, it’s being used to skirt federal laws on immigration.

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124 Comments leave one →
  1. gabe permalink
    September 2, 2010 4:32 am

    so what do you need to have to get a license in the state of washington if you are not a legal resident of the U.S.

  2. Richard permalink
    September 3, 2010 5:20 am

    I live in New Mexico, and just obtained a driver’s license; INTERESTING!!! Interesting BECAUSE evidently illegal aliens do NOT have to produce evidence of residency, BUT I sure did…3 utlity bills, and my bank statement were required. AND THEN, the best part; I’m an immigrant, been here 45 years; WORE a uniform for the nation, but when I produced my German birth certificate I had to also produce my naturalization papers. Certainly nice to see I live in a nation, and state, which affords some here ILLEGALLY a greater privilege/right that a citizen.

    And people wonder why we’ve had a belly-full of illegals??!!!!!

    • James permalink
      September 18, 2010 8:29 am

      You are wrong…They too have to provide prove of residency.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        September 21, 2010 8:14 pm

        Not according to news sources, just a utility bill.

      • Rod Torres permalink
        July 15, 2012 9:28 pm

        In new Mexico EVERYONE must show proof of residency. For individuals with no SSN, two legal proofs of residency are required, issued by state companies. News articles and TV news shows are not design to keep people informed, they are designed to sell “TV time” and nothing sells better than ire, despair, and fear. Evidently, we have a problem with immigration in this country, but we should not allow misguided opinion and anger to misplace empirical judgement. I’m an immigrant who has gOne through the process and have spent over 30 thousand dollars in immigration fees, not I mention paying taxes and paying my way through school with foreign student prices. I have witnessed many individuals marrying for green cards and obtaining citizenship in as little as five years, who barely speak English. The first problem with immigration is that it is difficult to obtain legal status, legally. Driving shoul be an easy fix. Allowing illegal immigrants to have licenses, would not only ensure they have passed a test, but it would give authorities full force to detain those who are driving without one. Face it, illegal immigrants are driving; illegal immigrants are working. Giving them permission to work would generate more income tax. It is a no brainier once we think clearly. Let a not allow feelings to interfere here. This is a serious problem that can only be fixed with logic.

      • Desperato permalink
        July 21, 2012 12:18 am

        Am I the only one seeing a pattern? Im on my phone so dont spell check me please. The african americans were slaves. Brought against their lml l and learnd to make the better of things.. Everyone was happy and america didnt complain. Then they beame educated, united and hoped for more. America didnt like tgis. 20 years,ago, we had the same problem we do now. Illegal imm. Working and driving.and america was aware.. And they didnt care.. It wasnt till we demanded to be treated like equals that america became threatened… Rationalize all you want.. history has repeated its self because people in power refuse to learn from the past.. Why should I suffer for my parents crime anyway.. Wheres the justice in,that. If u wont hold true to the statue liberty’s words.. Tear the damn thing down..

    • Registered Voter permalink
      February 10, 2011 8:30 am

      I believe if you are here legally there is nothing to be concerned about. I hope your life is good and your able to make your dreams come true no matter where you come from!

      I believe if you are not here legally nor going through the motions to become legal, than you should go home. And not have rights here, regardless of ethnicity.

      I believe if you are here illegally & don’t have a Social Security #, you should be denied a Driver’s license and escorted home regardless of Nationality.

      Why have boarder laws if they are not going to be enforced?
      Why should I pay higher taxes and medical costs to cover you being here illegally?
      If you can’t read or write English than how can you obey our laws on the road? Or anywhere else?
      Why should I not have a good job when Crooked Company’s can pay you pennies on the dollar?
      Why should I have to learn a second language in my own Country?
      How is any of that fair to a legal immigrant or natural citizen?

      We are all trying to make it in this world. Racism goes in all directions, races and creeds, sadly enough.

      I support this Bill and hope it passes. A Driver’s License or ID Card is proof of Identity, of Legality. Meaning you Legally belong in this Country and are protected by our Rights and Constitution.

      The States need to take care of their own business and not depend on the Federal Government. I appose the idea of “The North American Union” & if we are lax now with our laws it will just be that much easier for those that wish to see it happen.

      I will not go to Mexico illegally, Please don’t come to America illegally.

      Peace be with you all!

      “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
      Thomas Jefferson

      • angela permalink
        February 26, 2011 11:45 pm

        I am going to answer on your comment of …why should I learn a second language in my country…
        here is my answer: this is your country true, but unless your language is what the indigenous indians spoke and you are a native american with their dialects, I won’t argue the statement. Our founding fathers were very much into liberty for all. I know that you are thinking about the “bad” immigrants but what about the ones that are paid nothing at all that go out there and pick your fruits???? you put the quote of our founding father jefferson…well i have officially educated YOU!

      • Rodrigo permalink
        April 22, 2011 2:07 am

        I’ve been in the US *ILEGALLY* for almost 11 years. I work in construction and pay taxes (and get nothing back) with an US ISSUED Individual Tax payer Identification Number (ITIN) ( note that it was designed specially for ilegalls) ever since i started working. I went to HS, did some college, have been paying for each credit in full (ilegalls can’t get any finacial aid). All this with out a drivers license. This is my life and of many of the 11 million people in the US.
        I speak for my self and for most of the 11 million ilegalls that are here in this country: WE WISH TO BECOME LEGAL RESIDENTS!!
        We came here because our countries suck right now! I havent been back in Brazil ever since i came here, and don’t wish to live there again and most of my ilegal possies feel the same way! but we do not have any other choice! we are not welcome here!
        It’s unfair that US hire cheap labor in other countries to make huge bucks on their backs, but can’t welcome those people here!
        U know, we are the ones who build YOUR homes, watch YOUR children, cook YOUR food, pick YOUR fruits, clean YOUR houses, maintain YOUR gardens, etc… it’s unfair that we haven’t been granted, or even been sold a path for legal status, but i think that even so, it would be better than nothing to allow us to drive so we can get from point A to B i little faster than biking, so we can be more efficient at servicing YOU. and that’s what Utah, Washington and New Mexico are doing.

      • eduardo permalink
        October 9, 2011 5:19 am

        exactly which jobs are illegal people taking away from you , im pretty sure that you are not in the fields in the hot sun picking strawberries or in the orchards picking apples, oranges, limes,etc my point is that everyone has a dream and this country was founded by immigrants, by the way i think mexicans were here first according to history.

      • angry permalink
        November 26, 2011 9:59 pm

        Thank all of you who are considerate for putting your thought forth on this. My boyfriend is illegal. He was not always illegal, his parents came across legally when he was a teenager, his father was the visa holder and my boyfriend kicked him out for beating his mother and they have been stuck here ever since as illegas because his dad left. They have worked, paid taxes, and ran themselves into the ground to keep going, they don’t get tax returns, and just recently he was arrested and nearly deported for driving without a license. REALLY!?!? We are wasting tax money deporting people that are actually hard workers and wish to be here legally, but have no way to, and for what? Driving without a license??? Really go out there and get some REAL criminals, like drug dealers and murderers and rapists. Or why don’t we take some of our citizens, that are criminals themselves and go drop them off a freaking cliff. And for everyone’s information, illegals aren’t ruining this country or our economy, if you know anything about economy you know that the more people are here the more jobs there SHOULD be because more services and goods need to be provided. Our GOVERNMENT is running us into the ground. If they kept more business here, focused on keeping real criminals out and welcomed these people who have so much to offer into this country we would be in far better shape. We trail behind so many countries now in our education, if you would give these people the chance to further themselves that may not be the case. Many illegals I have met are the most intelligent, hardworking people I have ever known and it is a shame that we allow ourselves to be whipped up into a frenzy like this. Watched the news the other day, an illegal immigrant killed a man and it stirred up this big ole thing on the news about how we need to keep them out. Well think about this, one illegal killed a man who happened to be a criminal, and a citizen killed a man and women and raped and killed their five year old little girl. Open your eyes people it’s time to put petty things aside and work on getting rid of the monsters, not the mexicans.

      • Betsy permalink
        February 6, 2012 2:48 am

        Excusme, but wy are you so hatred towards immigrants, the whole American is built up of immigrants. You think that immigrants do not have to pay taxes? Oh yes they do, I am studying pre-law and I know for a fact that an illegal person is still able to work and pay taxes, just as a regular American citizen. It is called TIDN (Tax Identification Number) which is provided to immigrants by law so that they could work and pay taxes. So dont say a bad word about illegal immigrants who work or go to school, look at the Americans who do not work and live off of wellfare? These are the poeople who lay all day in bed, do nothihng and on top of that are getting high and you have to work your ass off so they can continue on doing nothing. Think before you’ll write something like that again.

      • Jose Portillo permalink
        March 12, 2012 2:33 am

        I’m an illegal immagrant without having a choice of coming here, I was brought here when I was 3. I’ve been raised in the USA for all my life, I’m no different from you. In fact everyone is in the same boat of survival. People with the same attitude as you make it hard for other minors to live a normal life. What do you want me to do? Pack up my things and leave at age 3? I was barely walking at that age. I can’t do anything about it, I’m 17 now. I look at my friends and wish i could have the same privileges they have. They know I’m illegal, but that doesn’t change the way they see me, they’re great friends to me and will support me achieve my goals. I really hope the DREAM act passes and people with the same attitude as you change their ways.

      • Karina permalink
        March 23, 2012 12:59 am

        Oh gosh Why Why Why?
        You might want to ask yourself why you see Americans in the Freeways streets and Outside of stores askign for money. While you see mexicans Askign for jobs. We like to work for what we obtain. So instead of being so racist ask yourself why A mexican or hispanic person is better tahn you and is more eligiable to get a job. We are not lazy. So instead of asking why and sitting in the computer all day. Try to find a job and dont be so racist. WE are all GOD’S creation we are all human. Im a proud Mexican I was brough here when I was FourYears old I didnt take the decition to do so. But I think its sad that many of us loose many rights and get called Wetbacks and All sorts of names. But Im proud to say im a hard working girl I go to school and I have my head on my shoulders. I dont see why its so hard for us to get an ID or a Drivers License. There is good people and we all deserve to be treated equally and be treated like humans not like weirdos that dont belong.!

      • Chelsea permalink
        April 9, 2012 3:21 pm

        Okay, I am not going to comment on anything in your post other than the fact you wrote “I will not go to Mexico illegally, so don’t come to America illegally.” you assume the immigrants that are here illegally are only mexicans? Okay first off, I have seen all types of races here illegally. Not just “the mexicans”. Anyone that assumes all illegal immigrants are Mexican are uneducated.

    • Pepe permalink
      February 18, 2011 8:32 pm

      Sir. YOU”RE WRONG!!

      The requirements for Illegal immigrants to get a Driver’s License are much greater than to Legal Residents.. They require everything you just mentioned you did and then some.. I advice you get your facts straight before you spit your Venom.

      Have a great day!

    • karla permalink
      April 24, 2011 3:44 pm

      hey thanks for hiding your feelings about the immigrants..

      • lexi permalink
        November 28, 2011 6:16 pm

        oh yah i agree with pepe

    • February 16, 2012 6:09 pm

      Whoa! watch where your flinging the CAPS there Richard! caps lock is the megaphone of the keyboard

    • dagmar karin permalink
      December 6, 2012 12:01 am

      hey richard, also german been here 45 years also. had to send for a COPY of my naturalization paper at a cost of 345 dollars. suppossed to take up to 6 months. i called today for a status check, since the web site says i’m still in “initial review: the web site gives zero info and the “customer service: rep told me 6 months was an approximation. I also wore the uniform and have been a staunch patriot of this country. I have never been on anygovernment assistance although i have had difficult situations. i agree with your “belly-ful”
      especially after reading in TIME magazine the illegal immigrants that can get ssn’s and driver’s licenses because “they have to get to work, get groceries,take their children to school
      i have contacted every possible official to extend my driver’s license (whichi I’ve had since I was 14) and have had no recourse and have been driving anyway (illegally) since my license was forcibly expired. I can;t wait to be fined for an expired license

      • December 9, 2012 12:01 am

        As for the expense you mentioned? There are form you can submit if you make little money are at the poverty level. I filled several such forms with the disclosure and haven’t paid a dime.

    • fernando cortes permalink
      May 9, 2013 12:06 pm

      hey Richard Fernando here from Atlanta ga,we do need to provide residence in the state of new mexico, in order to get a driver permit,bank statements,cell phone bills, Mexican birth certificate and much more,i thinck somebody most informe you wrong body,have a good day,thanks!!!

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 5:36 pm

      Yes, New Mexico makes it so bat-ass hard to get a driver’s license – I’ve lived in states which require FEWER proofs of residence (Massachusetts and New York! In New York, my U.S. Passport counts for about 5 out of the 6 required “points” and the drivers’ license from the other state you’re surrendering, counts for the other “point.”) and they’re kind of “border” states, too. What gives?! Arizona checks CREDIT on their first-time drivers’ license applicants so that’s why I stayed the hell away from there. (You know you can’t pass anyone’s credit check when Student Loans and gasoline cards are turning you down from here to next Sunday.) I kind of wonder how the “illegals” in New Mexico are getting past all the residency proofs – of which they’re more PICKY than any other state. I brought in a bank statement and they turned me away saying they didn’t accept one-page bank statements “with no activity on them.” I should sue them at the Supreme Court level for that one alone.

  3. daniel permalink
    October 30, 2010 6:09 pm

    don’t u know that you can’t not always believe what the media says…. haven’t u guys forgot that media is the first source to manipulate the society????

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      November 2, 2010 2:21 pm

      The media may manipulate, but if you look at the requirements to get a driver’s license, do the research, you will find that many illegal immigrants can be granted a driver’s license.

  4. Ryan permalink
    November 25, 2010 3:47 am

    The author is right I have guys that work for me that went to Washington for licenses and got them. Also side note, illegals can register their cars and purchase insurance without licenses.

  5. Nelly permalink
    December 24, 2010 6:46 am

    Umm, whats the harm to let Illigals have a drivers licence? This is sad, it makes me feel really bad people think this way, why cant you just be nice & look from another poin of view ?

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      January 3, 2011 4:55 pm

      Some people are pretty opposed to illegals getting a government service when they have done something illegal. What is the other point of view you wish to share?

      • December 29, 2012 6:13 am

        For illegal come to us is God plan same a African American endup to us

    • itsjustdave permalink
      January 24, 2011 3:13 am

      you haven’t had to work in the MVA, DMV and watch how the whole process works for the illegals. The way they abuse the system by paying for fake addresses, fake documents. I have first hand exp in seeing all the things they do to get a lic……as much money as it brings in for the state, also cost the state x2 that because very few carry insurance and then extra police efforts. And don’t even be nieve to the fact of the ‘coyotes’ that bring the people to the DMV, MVA and extort hundreds of dollars for “helping” them get a license.

      My state stopped it as best as we can, and thanks to the upcoming REAL ID act, it’ll be ALOT better.

      • dagmar karin permalink
        December 6, 2012 12:11 am

        dave, i am a legal immigrant, i am naturalized, but do not have “the paper”
        i have had a legal driver’s license since i was 14, i am 53 now. dmv says that no amount of proof of military service, addrresses,, employment confirmation,utility bills, ad nauseaum is enough, i MUST have this one piece of paper (cost 345 dollars, waiting period of at least 6 months, forcibly expired license) how do i get an illegal license?

    • Jenny permalink
      August 31, 2011 12:36 am

      i aqree !

  6. nicole permalink
    January 24, 2011 4:29 pm

    the other point of view is that there are many people who went through great hardship to come to this great country and while it is not right for them to come here illegally it was the only way to make a better life for themselves and their families. i’m not defending all illegal immigrants, but there is a big majority who only want a better life for themselves and to be hardworking. Some came here when they were children and all they know is living in America. Without a drivers license they cannot do ANYTHING. they are people too and i bet a lot of us would do the same thing if we were in their shoes. Not everyone is lucky enough to be born in this wonderful country.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      January 26, 2011 7:15 pm

      The problem most Americans have with this is that it is still illegal, and is therefore not contributing to the country in the way that citizens do, namely paying taxes.

      • arual91711 permalink
        January 28, 2011 4:55 pm

        a great number of illegal immigrants do pay taxes

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        January 29, 2011 11:23 pm

        Hmm, and how would that be tracked if they are in the country illegally? If there was a way to track that and prove the illegal aliens mainly paid taxes and simply want to attain citizenship, that could be a move toward acceptance.

      • Purplechaios permalink
        January 12, 2012 6:09 pm

        Some may not pay income tax, however every time they buy food, clothes ect they are paying tax!
        Without them an orange would be $2, Lettuce $4…… I am quite willing to let them work so that I can eat and still afford rent.

      • December 9, 2012 12:03 am

        illegals spend more shopping, etc. than do most citizens and are giving the gov. billions in taxes and boosting the economy. And they don’t file so the gov. doesn’t have to issue any tax refunds.

    • Purplechaios permalink
      January 12, 2012 6:33 pm

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with illegal immigrant being and working here.
      Firstly no man or woman was present when the foundation of this planet was formed. By what right do man lay claim to countries? Every man should be able to go wherever he finds advantageous to him…. Money is welcomed everywhere, why not man? Very few Americans will toil in a field day in day out picking fruit, washing dishes ect. Instead of spending money foolishly and using immigrants as scape goats for your laziness mixed with a disillusion sense of entitlement get up and get. Remember it’s what you can do for your country not what it can do for you!
      Immigrants take whatever opportunity presents it self within the bounds of the law and make use of it. Also remember it’s the third world that prop up the rich countries, just as the poor and masses prop up the rich here.

      • dagmar karin permalink
        December 6, 2012 12:43 am

        you need to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants. many people are waiting to escape from oppressive countries that threaten their very lives, not livelihoods. why must they wait when there is no room because others run into this country without legal processes? people in places like the middle east women in those countries are beaten and raped daily i believe this is more important than simplly being poor if you have ever been simply poor notdestitute then you would understand poor is not that bad before you rail at me let me say i have been very poor i just didn’t know it which is really what life is about isn’t it?

  7. Tyharris permalink
    February 5, 2011 11:42 pm

    The illegal immigrants do pay taxes and they also file tax returns. This they do by using their ITIN number issued to them by IRS, so they can tracked if need be.

    • Denise permalink
      April 25, 2011 6:04 pm

      I can tell you for a fact that there ARE illegal people that do pay taxes. When I met my to be husband, he wa illegal. He originally came here legally on a work visa, but knew he would never return to his home country because. like someone earlier said, he wanted to make a better life for himself. He obtained a driver’s license and social security card while his visa was still valid and paid and filed taxes with every job he had.

    • maybs permalink
      October 23, 2011 5:03 am

      yes illegal alien do pay taxes through their ITIN Individual Tax Identification Number but they CAN NOT file income tax returns/refunds or getting benefits from it.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        October 26, 2011 6:50 pm

        Technically, a return is an overpayment, a pay-back from an employer withholding more than was needed from the wages. Someone filing on their own, whose employer didn’t already withhold it from their paycheck, wouldn’t get a “return/refund.”

  8. thethingspplsaywithoutknowinganything permalink
    February 7, 2011 2:07 am

    FYI, there is a such thing as an I-10 number that is specifically made for illegals to pay taxes. I think it is unfortunate that even though MANY pay taxes, work menial jobs for sub-minimum wages, and have been here since childhood, there are still those of you that would rather these people be one pull over by the police away from deportation.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      February 7, 2011 9:59 pm

      Perhaps you haven’t lived in the communities populated by illegals, whose main objective has been to flaunt tax law, send money “home” to Mexico, and refuse to integrate. On the other hand, there are plenty of illegals who do pay taxes; however, simply being here in the country “since childhood” does not make them legal. I think you are missing the point about the illegal status. But I am not sure how many people really want deportation as opposed to legal citizenship. That said, the US doesn’t allow for dual citizenship, so people would have to declare themselves US citizens, something I have not found many illegals wanting to do. The people I know who have become US citizens have worked long and hard to get their work visas, take the classes, and learn to speak English. Would I assume, based on that, that all illegals want the “righteous path” to citizenship here in the States by giving up their former nationality? In short, no.

      • Denise permalink
        April 25, 2011 6:14 pm

        it depends on what country you are from. My husband is a Polish citizen and once he becomes a U.S. citizen (which he is currently in the process of) he can still retain his Polish citizenship. This sentence was taken directly off the INS website, “Citizens from other countries who become U.S. citizens may still be considered citizens by their country of origin, depending on its laws.”
        Also, the only way the US would require him to give up his Polish citizenship is if he were to enlist in the military or go to work for our FBI or something like that.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        April 26, 2011 7:33 pm

        The issue isn’t whether or not other countries recognize dual-citizenry, but whether or not the US does. The US does not grant dual-citizenship, but other countries will. The US doesn’t force one to give up citizenship.

  9. Ben Hur permalink
    March 12, 2011 5:55 pm

    I think some of the commentators here got it a bit wrong: a drivers license is just a license to drive. It is NOT a legal status document. You can get a drivers license in other countries as well. Doesn’t mean you are entitled to live or work in them.

    • Denise permalink
      April 25, 2011 6:17 pm

      but how can anyone get a DL without a s.s card? You at least have to provide the DMV with some kind of visa.

  10. steven merlo permalink
    April 7, 2011 4:14 am

    harvard grad, please stop being an ignorant person and making these stupid comments. I am a US citizen, but my grandparents arent. we are all illegal to this country at one point, only thing is some of our ancestors came here first, this country belongs to native americans, and the rest are immigrants. And you saying “Mexicans” refering to all immigrants is very ignorant. please get educated you broke and uneducated one. have a good day!

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      April 8, 2011 5:30 pm

      Well, I could pick apart your grammar and punctuation, find fault with your English, and demonstrate that in all, your post lacks the resonance associated with an educated viewpoint, as opposed to simply seeking to justify your point based upon personal experience, namely stating that since your grandparents came here illegally, you should somehow be justified now as a legal resident in stating that it was okay for them to break the law. I will refrain from grammar corrections and dissecting your argument based on personal experience rather than facts, but the point is that your family chose to break the law, and simply saying that the country belongs to people who lived here in the past does not elucidate your point any further. In that case, then which tribe? Which people were here “first,” because that would mean that Eurasians would, in fact, have rights to the land after crossing the land bridge formed as Pangea broke. Or, perhaps, we could say that Vikings owned the land, as they too, show evidence of having landed in the United States. There is no simple way to define “immigrants” at this time, except to state that the rules and land do change, and the one that currently governs our country has stated that illegal immigrants are those who enter the country under the US guidelines illegally. Trying to redefine “illegal” based on personal family history probably isn’t a strong argument.

    • Denise permalink
      April 25, 2011 6:20 pm

      Steven….I’m in total agreement with you on this. There are a lot of ignorant people out there that think the only illegals are from Mexico. I had this very discussion with a friend a few days ago and I haven’t heard back fom her because honestly I think she is too uninformed to continue the conversation.
      It’s nice to know that there are some thinking people out there.

  11. his girl permalink
    April 20, 2011 12:40 pm

    this is fkin retarded dey all ppl jus like u n me

  12. Lorena permalink
    May 16, 2011 11:05 pm

    First of all I am 17 years old and I came to the US when I was nine years old. I know how to read and write Enlgish, I get straight As in high school and I am planning to go to college no matter how long it takes me to get there. For people like the harvardgrad pointing out someone’s grammar comes to show you have nothing else to say, but that ignorant comment. They way someone talks or writes has nothing to do with them being a dumb illegal immigrant. what happen to being the land of the opportunities? Equal rights? coming from someone like me who knows how it feels to be point at and looked for being different I will NEVER get at the level that some people do.

    Don’t pay taxes? I think people need to get educated. Both of my parents work and they both pay taxes and while citizens get their money back my parents don’t. Medical bills? They paid them with their own money.

    Give us the chance to prove that we are all capable ofo succeding and achieve our goals. It makes me sad that people post comment with hurtful things that believe it or not it hurts people like me. We don’t deserve to be treated like this even more when we treat YOU with respect.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 18, 2011 7:08 pm

      Ahh, the young. The grammar comment comes from the fact that apparently the way that people talk, write, or speak the language of the country does affect the way in which they are perceived. Also, citizens don’t “get money back” when they pay taxes; taxes are more complicated than that. You may get “money back,” if you overpay what you owe during the year, in which case the federal government will pay back your original overpayment, but that’s not the same as getting the money back. And, while some people may disagree, most people do pay their own medical bills with their own money.

      Perhaps, Ms. L. (not using your name in order to protect your privacy), it would be best if you didn’t consider your “illegal immigrant status” your only method of defining yourself. If you were to pay taxes, then their criticism wouldn’t apply to you, but it will be a rough road if you try to defend people who don’t pay taxes simply because they share the same immigration status.

      Also, it’s obvious that you are striving to be responsible, and perhaps you have no current method of addressing your illegality in regards to your citizenry, but people will judge you for this as you get older, or judge your parents. And sadly, while you say that “we are all capable [of] succeeding and achieve our goals,” you add fuel to the fire of not including your goals with those here legally. People who argue against illegal immigration really believe that people who live here illegally will prevent them from accomplishing their own goals; they believe that they won’t be able to meet their own goals, legally or not. And, well, that makes them attack.

      I am not sure to whom the “YOU” refers by giving respect and hurting feelings. Most people would say that they don’t want to hurt your feelings, but they equate illegal immigrant status to committing any other form of crime and would say you are guilty of committing a crime. Granted, you came to the U.S. with your parents, not on your own. You are still a legal minor. Technically, your movement was not under your control; however, as you get older, people with citizenry will only become more angry as you become a legal adult should you not attempt to apply for citizenship.

      Truly, Ms. L, it’s the illegal part that makes people angry, but I think you are also feeling the immigrant portion causes people to look at you differently. It’s hard to be different. Perhaps you could address the fact that there are issues with the type of people that US citizens might accept as citizens. For example, you say that the way someone talks or writes has nothing to do with them being a “dumb illegal immigrant;” however, much of the citizenship process includes being able to prove knowledge of the country’s history, language and speech. It very much does impact the path to citizenship, but I want to stress here that this is not an anomaly among those wanting to live in another country. Does your family want to attain citizenship? Do you want to become a citizen? I have friends who became citizens, and they are some of the most vocal defenders of being a country legally–they put their time in to go through the process.

      I feel for you, that your feelings get hurt, that you feel an injustice toward you because you feel you look different. Being a teenager is hard enough. Being in a country as an illegal immigrant is hard too, as one moving toward adulthood, that will bring some special challenges. I hope it works out for you.

      • June 3, 2011 5:57 am

        wish it was all so cut and dry… children coming to this country at a young age illegally and growing old and realizing the country they have always (thought) lived in is not theirs… blame the parents, sure. But you can’t deport these kids who know no life in their original countries. They should be given a chance to immigrate legally, but they can’t, because they broke the law (even though they were just a few months old) and they would get deported and stand trial in their home country if they tried to immigrate. It must suck to have no identity, and no real future, because your parents wanted something better for you and didn’t cross the border before your birth.

        This is an issue more complicated than just ‘deport them all’. And coming from someone who knows (and loves) one of these such law breakers, it’s a shame it has such a reputation for being a volatile subject. And this country makes it very hard to fix a crime that was committed briefly after birth, among other things.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        June 7, 2011 7:01 pm

        I don’t know that people set out to deport kids, but I suppose it does happen. I think you are stating that the issue for children who are brought in with their parents is that they didn’t have choice in the matter, which means that the children were not guilty of committing a crime. It is difficult to say, but the U.S. is one of the most lenient developed countries in the world when it comes to this, and that’s saying quite a bit. Switzerland, countries in the UK and Canada have tougher immigration laws. I think it’s a debate that will be ongoing.

      • Mark permalink
        July 8, 2011 8:50 am

        Being here illegally it is not a crime, it’s a civil Violation.

        “Illegal presence” as the offense is called, is not a violation of the U.S. criminal code. A person cannot be sent to prison for being here without authorization from immigration authorities. It is, however, a violation of civil immigration laws, for which the federal government can impose civil penalties, namely deportation.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        July 12, 2011 2:33 pm

        Since civil violations usually are settled in a court of law, and it is a violation of law, determining that being here illegally is somehow less reprehensible because it’s not a violation of criminal code is a shaky argument. The fact that one can be sent to prison for this offense does shade the argument in favor of the whole legal violations. Calling something a civil violation still means it’s breaking the law.

      • Purplechaios permalink
        December 31, 2011 7:16 am

        Havard Grad……Laws was made for men and not men for laws… The Europeans came and took a vast and rich land from its natives by killing and stealing. Today the immigrants are here to conquer too, by hard work…. Get use to it, nothing stays the same forever, by 2024 the Latin population will be the majority and their voice will be loudest. Maybe by then you can move to Europe illegally!

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        January 3, 2012 3:54 am

        Why would I want to move to Europe illegally?

  13. National Security My Ass permalink
    June 22, 2011 5:52 am

    All this national security bullshit is pissing me off. No one can take our freedom away except for our government and they have. “…All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
    -Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII

  14. Southern permalink
    June 30, 2011 1:52 pm

    All this talk about this country belonging to the Native American Indians…The reason the Indians have no power and no land and have had their lives and culture ruined is because they did not stop the invasion of people coming in and displacing them. If we Americans do not wake up and take serious measures to stop this invasion, do not be surprized when we are sitting on a damned reservation and talking about how great we used to be.

    • Purplechaios permalink
      January 18, 2012 7:41 pm

      It’s called,”Karma!”

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 7:09 pm

      Only because WE, Native Americans, as a people didn’t inherently distrust other people just because they had a different color skin than we did. We do NOW. But now it’s too late.

  15. david g permalink
    July 7, 2011 12:45 am

    some of u guys just piss me off how u say “why dont the illegals become US citizens?” U think we dont want that??? its not as easy as ordering a cheesburger!!! if u dont have a special skill, lots of money, or arent married to an American, then there’s no way u can become a citizen!!! And by the way many illegal immigrants DO pay taxes!!

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 7:13 pm

      Immigrants are getting more and more scared of the “marry a US citizen” part because Immigration has them thinking that simply marrying someone who is from a different country than we are, constitutes a “crime” on our part (of the US citizen.) And most US citizens who don’t have law degrees nor have worked for Immigration, seem not to know this either: it’s NOT. It’s not a crime on the part of the US citizen to simply marry someone from another country. Immigration is also unable to “read minds” of the immigrant. They are forced to ASSUME that any illegal immigrant who marries a US citizen is doing it ONLY to stay in the country, and it’s up to the US citizen to fight Immigration on that assumption. Most United States citizen women simply don’t have the education, the background or the guts to stand up to US Immigration. I do have a law degree and I have worked for US INS (back when it was still called that) and I will refute any opposition to my statements. It’s no “crime” to marry a non-US citizen.

  16. ana permalink
    July 16, 2011 10:31 am

    I hate to see how these people talk about all illegal immigrant becoming legal as if it were only that easy try being in a country since you were just a kid and know nothing ales of how to live in a different country it’s not easy to become legal here you have to have a lot of money and how would you have money if you don’t break the rules? you get send back to your country of origin for a certain amount of time and you can get back sure if they think you can they may tell you you can’t come back and keep what ever amount that you have already pay them oh yeah and what would you do in a country where you are not able to understand everything they say because all you know is what you learned here!!!!!!! how would you feel if you get discriminated in the us and you are send back to your country and also get discriminated by your “own country” yeah think about that before you say anything against illegal immigrants i’d like to see all you people in our shoes and see what you had to do i’d like to see you not break the rules and stay in your country to see your children and loved ones on the street in the cold or die from hunger or see how some people kill your family and you can’t do anything because that person has money something you don’t i’d like to hear you say that it doesn’t matter that illegals are committing a crime as some say or committing a civil violation….

    PS. oh yeah by the way don’t bother to check for comas or punctuation or anything cause you will find many i did not stop to put those i believe that you don’t need to see them to understand what i have written for all of you who discriminate illegal immigrants.

  17. Mike permalink
    July 23, 2011 1:04 am

    I am a natural born American and have traveled the globe. Back in 1974 while traveling around Canada I met a Canadian woman and we had a child in Montreal, Que. After he was born and before his 2nd month of life I went back to California. She brought the child down on a plane to live with me. We were married a few months later. She made no declarations coming into the US and none were asked. We spent the next 22 years building a family. As all good things…our marriage came to end after 3 kids. Before our final divorce degree I petitioned for her citizenship. She was granted status, but as my 1st born son was 18 we did not petition him. Now when he is 37 years of age, graduated from HS, some college, worked at a Pepsico plane for 10 years as a supervisor, as he had a SS card since a child…the INS, ICE. has decided he is illegal and suspended his right to work or renew his drivers license. He is in a panic and not being able to work or support his wife and 2 American born sons…his wife has left him and taken his boys.

    He has never been to Canada and would have no life there whatsoever. So, do the ICE have the right to deport him, as he is the son of an American, has lived here for 37 years and has 2 American sons? We have had numerous atts. and they, like most are as dumb as rocks and have offered us no pathways, whatsoever. The gov. took his taxes for his working life, and now, out of the blue think he should be deported without his wife or sons to a country he knows nothing about.

    Our government is deaf, dumb and blind, and the INS have absolutely no clue as to what they are doing or seem to care about the devastating effects their laws and actions have on people.

    Any advice, please email me at; contact@travelersdigest.com

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      July 26, 2011 3:41 pm

      I’ll publish your post, Mike. I don’t know that I have any good answers. I wonder why the government focused on him now, after all these years. I wonder why they have removed his work permit. Do you know what initially prompted the probe into his immigration status?

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 7:16 pm

      I used to work for Immigration. He was born in Canada but the father was a US citizen at the time of his birth. That makes him a US citizen. I don’t know why Immigration suddenly doesn’t know their own rules??

  18. Mike permalink
    July 26, 2011 5:18 pm

    He had worked at a Pepsico plant for 10 years and was paying his taxes without issues. When his DL was due to expire the DMV would not renew his license as they required his American Birth Certificate, which he could not produce. I believe it was more about the new laws than it was an actual investigation by the ICE, So without his DL Pepsico had no choice but to lay him off. Without a job his wife filed for welfare and food stamps for her and their 2 kids. Which opened a Pandora box when she filled out the forms which required information on her husband, my son. There has been no actual letters or contact from the ICE, but not being able to get a DL nor being able to support his family has led to grave hardships resulting in his separation from his family. He is now staying with me and my wife and we do not have the means to support him. And we seem inept in any ability to help solve this immigration issue. We did file for and will receive his Canadian Pass Port in a few days just in case he has to leave the US. But in all insanity what would he do in a country he has never been since infancy? I have thought about taking him to Washington state and try to get him a driver license, as it is noted that they do not require legal status. What do you think? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Pete permalink
      July 28, 2011 1:13 am

      Mike:

      I don’t want to give you any false hope, but your situation should be fairly easy to rectify. However, it cannot be done in the U.S. Your son is entitled to U.S. citizenship simply because you are a U.S. citizen. The problem is, he was born in Canada and the USCIS (INS) cannot grant citizenship to a person born outside this country. The main reason for this “technicality” is that there are no U.S. embassies in the U.S. and it is their responsibility to issue U.S. passports to foreign born citizens. Makes sense if you think about it.

      What you are looking to obtain is a form FS-240, “Consular Report of Birth Abroad”. This should be straight-forward since the last time I checked, there was no limitation on the amount of time you have to file. What this direction requires is that you and your son go to Canada and file with the U.S. embassy there. They will require your U.S. passport along with your son’s canadian birth certificate. Both of you will then be subjected to DNA testing by the Red Cross and if everything checks out, they will grant him a U.S passport … end of story … it is his right.

      However, having said that, I would first advise consulting with an immigration attorney to find out how much red tape you might encounter because of the many years since his birth. The only real problem might have been if he did NOT live in the U.S. Then the embassy might hassle you because of “absence of presence” in the U.S. Since that is not the case, the worst thing I can think of is that you may have to wait in Canada for several months while the consular’s office scratches their heads a little and gives you some grief about not doing this sooner. In any event, to the best of my knowledge, his right to U.S. citizenship never expires. Hope this helps and good luck.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        July 28, 2011 8:00 pm

        Thank you so much for your help!

      • Penny permalink
        August 29, 2013 7:20 pm

        He’s right. Just don’t do it at the one in Montreal if you want LESS grief given to you – I think there’s one in Vancouver.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      July 28, 2011 8:02 pm

      Mike, please see the helpful notes supplied by our reader, Pete. How gracious of him to reply!

  19. broke3rdyearcommunitycollegestudent permalink
    July 30, 2011 11:33 am

    This is certainly one of the most tantalizing “comment” exchanges I’ve come across in my 22 years (Although I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to consider the years during which these types exchanges would have been incomprehensible to my young mind. Let me ponder on that for a sec, yeah?) Mike, Pete, and the ever-stupefying brokeharvardgrad (what an envious title of distinction!), you all have made my indica-induced philosophical escapade so much more substantial than I could have imagined possible.

    ps
    brokeharvardgrad, please know that you are my idol. Would you consider taking a unpaid full-time position as my mentor?

    pps
    I’m serious…

    Much love,
    -broke3rdyearcommunitycollegestudent

  20. August 17, 2011 2:50 am

    Immigrants are hard working people. They come from other countries and get abused here by Americans. Most of the people on Park Avenue , NY hire immigrants at below minimum wage. If you notice Immigrants do all the tough jobs such as working in McDonalds, Burger King, construction, drive cabs etc…. No American is going to work for 5 or 10 dollars per hour. We should give all immigrants the chance to have a better life.

    To all those so called Americans, this is the land of immigrants, people migrated from other countries and started a new life here.

    Anyone who dont like immigrants should close their eyes because immigrants are never going to stop coming to America.

  21. Orlando Trujillo permalink
    August 24, 2011 7:09 pm

    We are humans too! Just as every american here. 99.9% of us come here for a better life, not to come here & mess up yal’s country & those whom are bad for this country as in drug sellers, criminals, those are the ONES whom don’t deserve rights. Like I said most of us come here for a better life, THAT IS ALL. If any of y’all whom are against reformation lived the lives we lived in our country, y’all would have done the same thing. I’m 16 years old, I’m a “B” student at my school, I’m involved in church & I am also an athlete & I’m asking myself why can’t we all humans be treated the same? –Privileges NOT Discrimination

  22. Not anti illegal immigrant but anti policy permalink
    September 1, 2011 4:59 am

    And i would like to take the time out in saying this.. I am a black american and no matter what you say us black folk aint gettin no rights in any of the countries that the illegal immigrant come from…. Martin Luther King only wanted a better life but he cudnt run to any of these countries when he was being saught after and later assasinated by the racist that you illegals date… As far as im concerned you should not expect for a 5th geberation black american to support you we dont even get to date you… I bet none of the people here in this country illegally, ever think how life would be for a black american in your country! I know i spent 4 years in germany protecting the german people i was never offered a citizenship and for sure was never offered a job even when i got out of the millitary… But there people feel there owed! I cudnt never go to mexico and sell drugs but you people think your cartel people should be able to come here and get jobs… LMAO That is selfish if you think about it!

    • Purplechaios permalink
      January 18, 2012 7:59 pm

      Firstly, not all illegals are from Mexico. There are illegal immigrants from all over the world here. Secondly not everyone from Mexico is in a Cartel!
      How do you know that Dr.King would have not been welcomed in another country. Above all, what have the Black community achieved from his life blood sacrifice to date? There is no 40 acres and a mule coming…. Get up and get….. Effort and thinking is needed to make it in this World. Being a citizen means nothing, for there is a stronger law of nature which states that the strong survives.
      So for all who thinks that because they were born here that magically all will remain like this forever…. Lol! Before you realize like the native Americans before you did, you would have become strangers in a land you once though was yours.

      • Penny permalink
        August 29, 2013 7:25 pm

        I’m Native American, Choctaw, and also Canadian First Nations (Inuit) and get treated like some FOREIGNER in BOTH of my native countries. Specifically like some “immigrant” from Africa. I know all about being treated like a foreigner on my own native soil.

  23. guest1324 permalink
    September 14, 2011 2:17 am

    so? .. what about immigrants students can they get there license?

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      September 14, 2011 6:10 pm

      Some students can get a temporary license, if they take driver’s ed and can pass the language and driving tests.

  24. Sergio permalink
    September 16, 2011 12:01 am

    okay so im 17 and dont have a license b/c i am also illegal. i was brought here as a child so i didnt have much say. but obviously i drive to get around. i am i a good driver but am unable to get one. how does everyone feels towards that?

  25. twilight18 permalink
    September 30, 2011 8:55 pm

    i read some comments and i realized that there are alot of people that dont know anything…!!! you dont know how it is to be illegal… i was brought to the U.S when i was a baby. when I was younger thing were okay. in 9th grade my friends and i were talk about getting our license in high school… but when entering high school everything changed i started to realized that am not like my friends that i wont be able to do the thing they do. everyone got there drivers license and i.d except me and i had to ride the bus which i hated. i cant go to the collage that i want which sucks cause I really wan to become a RN aka a nurse. soo yeah am illegal so what i lived her my whole life am 18 years olds and love this counrty with all my heart. and always will… i love this country more then my home country. i hate not being born here.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      October 1, 2011 2:58 pm

      Part of the fierce debate includes the outcome of people who came to the U.S. as minors and had no choice in the decision. The problem is that people like you have no way to apply for citizenship without alerting authorities of your status. Did your parents offer any advice?

  26. October 17, 2011 1:42 am

    i think that’s fabulous! We need more states to do that

  27. LICENSED permalink
    November 21, 2011 9:41 pm

    i got mine couple months ago ,here`s what you need :
    1)RENTAL/LEASE AGREEMENT MAKE SURE YOU GET ORIGINAL THEY`LL TRY TO REFUSE YOU THEY`LL TRY TO FIND EXCUSES.
    2)BIRTH CERTIFICATE ORIGINAL OF YOUR BIRTH COUNTRY IF YOU ARE NON MEXICANS,MEXICANS NEEDS MATRICULAR CARDS FROM AZ/NM ,
    3)ANY UTILITY BILL / ANY INSURANCE RENTAL HOME/AUTO OR ANY.

  28. ladybug permalink
    November 29, 2011 9:25 pm

    I am from Ireland and illegal, here 4 years with my U.S citizen husband, we married this year and now I find out officially today that we are expecting a baby, completely unplanned. I work part time, pay taxes, don’t drive, and otherwise am a law abiding member of society. I have no health insurance and my husband has been unemployed for over a year now. We are at a very difficult situation and I am considering options I never before would have considered for the sake and safety of our child. Obtaining a license is one of them. I understand the plight of Americans not wanting to be taken advantage of. I firmly believe in working for everything you deserve, I would never have considered myself in this situation if you had asked me 10 years ago but now I am. I mean no harm to anyone, I only want what everyone dreams of, a home, a family, a community, to belong, to enjoy, to live and to do it all with others who care about the same. I want to see this country succeed, evolve, and be prosperous with its people cared for, happy and contributing. I am 30, what does the future hold for me and others like me, I await nervously for news of a new law that will open doorways for those of us who truly care about this country to come forward and proclaim ourselves and our intent to remain lawfully.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      November 30, 2011 9:02 pm

      When you got married, didn’t that provide you with legal citizenry?

      • ladybug permalink
        December 1, 2011 2:55 am

        Actually no, it’s a matter of my entry not being logged and having no proof of it. I also had a minor altercation back in Ireland when I was younger that saw me on probation for 2 years which also puts a wrench in the works where my application is concerned. Being married to a U.S citizen is no longer the one way ticket many think it is, nor is having a child here. There are complications with my application that would not only cost more than I can afford to pay to have a professional handled it which obviously has a higher success rate, but a risk factor., Can I risk my family, my child, my husband by being denied and deported? I have heard horror stories of mothers being sent back without there children. I have heard of waiting times of up to 10 years. The application process for naturalization when your here legally is 5 years, and citizenship a further 7 years… I am afraid to think what it is for someone like me with a black mark on her history(everyone has skeletons) and no proof of entry. :(

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        December 1, 2011 5:07 pm

        Any idea why your entry was not logged? Readers: Any suggestions?

  29. lexi permalink
    November 30, 2011 6:00 pm

    im just a kid ok

  30. jolapy permalink
    December 9, 2011 3:47 pm

    like most persons entering from a neighboring country before 2010and certainly pre 9-11 no one asked for any solid form of ID or required you to show positive proof of citizenship to get into the us the only real check point was when you got about an hour into the US and crossed the highway check piont where you were simply given a good look over and allowed to pass if things didn’t look suspicious or a trained dog didn’t alert on your vehicle. millions of persons came into the US every year ” undocumented”. it was not until the recent law changes making it impossible to get a license or ID that it became an issue. Hence many millions of “illegals” did not cross with “documentation” and now have no logical way to fix the problem..They run the risk of being deported just for trying to straighten out the mess and constantly run into completely illogical and descriminitory “procedures” that often conflict and seem to be completely arbitrary.. depending on which representative you talk to..

    I am a native us citizen married to a naturalized mexican american citizen and work actively in the immigrant community as a counselor and translator and many of the posts on this string demonstrate a lot of emotion for and against but not much real world knowledge of the realities the “illegal immigrant” community faces.

    most of the persons I work with have been in the process of trying to gain legal statis for ten or more years and there is no sane way to address the issues they face under current laws.

    please do some research or speak to someone who actually is in the trenches if you want the facts… most ICE agents realize the laws are unjust and broken but they are powerless to do anything but try to inforce in a humane way.. their hands are tied

    you may enjoy a movie called “The Visitor” produced in 2007 which is a very realistic portrayal of the life an illegal immigrant faces in the US

  31. desperato permalink
    January 9, 2012 6:35 am

    i am 19. graduated 27 in my class in southern georgia. i took nothing but honors and advanced placement classes, including A.p. Psychology. i have never been convicted of a crime. never done any type of drugs. donate blood bi-annually. got into the Savannah College of Art and Design. i got a $5000 artistic scholarship, and a $1000 academic scholarship. i could not attend college beacuse i STILL couldnt afford it… i have a deep passion for the marine corps. wish to join the marine corps for the 20 years it is required to retire. was in Army jrotc for four years. was a cadet major. have won national awards, coca cola founded awards,i am FDIC educated, i am CERT certified, CPR certified, Georgia work ready certified level platnum -highest level you can get- volunteer at my church constantly, volunteer at elementary schools constantly. i have yet to get a girl pregnant. i am not in a gang… i am an illegal. how many americans can say they have accomplished what i have done in my 15 years in the u.s? i still cant belive sum americans drop out of HIGH SCHOOL! btw . i told u i graduated 27 in my classes.. number 9 and our valiedictorian are also illegals.. for every one illegal immigrant that is actually “bad” there are atleast 20 “good” ones that actually do just want to be left alone to raise their families, and i am tired of not being able to drive. i have never had a job, because i could not drive to the job. my mom was a nurse in mexico… i dont think she took an american urses job here because she is working at dairy queen. my father owned a restaurant. i dont think he took a restaurant owners job here becasue he works 12 hours a day/ 6days a week at a lumbor yard. no where on a driverse license-at least not in georgia- does it say “this driver is legal :D” it implies” the state of georgia recognizes that this man knows what to do and is able to operate a car on our roads” if the country decides to use a drivers license as its main i.d. thats there problem. and hey. as i said. i am an illegal. but even so, i understand where you guys are comming from -the against illegal immigrants people- when you say that we shouldnt have the licenses or get work, or go to college. but let me ask you this.wouldnt you leave your country if your father neirlly killed you 4 times because of his drug involvement? and then threatened to kidnap your children for money? or used you to unknowingly transport ddrugs throughout the country? my dad did. and this is why we crossed the border. i was 4… do you think i knew any better? ad ay doesnt go by my parents dont appologize to me for bringing me here illegally. i have seen my mother get arreested 3 times and my father 5 for driving without a license. you may ask “then why do they still do it stoopid?” because they have a family… and they would rather rot in jail, trying to give us better lives.. then go back to a country that almost cost them their lives.. i have n=done nothing wrong IN MY LIFE! why should i be punished for what my parents did? do you actually think we stay up at night and wonder” how can i make an american misserable today?” or come here saying “i cant wait to see the look on that americans face when i steal their job” no.. first of -as a mexican i can tell you- crossing the border itself is deadly. especially for women. my best friend had to walk for three days straight in the desert to get here. some women get rapped. some women are beaten. some are even left behind to preoccupy the authorities while the rest get away. many people say to send “mexicans ” back to where they came from -ignorantly labeling the entire illegal people as “mexican” but for people like me… who grew up here.. this is my home. not on paper, but in heart. i love this place. i am prepared to fight and die for this country that hates me and my family. but i cant even do that.. it isnt fair. you build the perfect country, then get mad when peole try to get in? i am not one of those “lets see what obama does” immigrants, ima “ima do it myself” immigrant. i have been trying to get my residency for 5 years now.. and i have failed because of lack of goverment cooperation and lack of money.
    america wants me to have a green card
    to get my green card i need money
    to get money i need a job
    to get a job i need a license

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      January 11, 2012 7:07 pm

      There is a huge issue about how to deal with the children of immigrants, those who were never able to get legal status in the U.S.

  32. miguel permalink
    January 14, 2012 12:05 am

    i came to the us at age 6. i am now 22. im in college now and all i want is a chance to live out my dreams and make decent money with the education i have obtained. i have a ss# card but its not valid for work. all i want right now is a drivers license but living in ny wont let me pocess one. what must i do?

    • Mike permalink
      January 17, 2012 8:42 pm

      My wife is an illegal imm. and so we drove to WA state where she got her DL with just her passport. They accept most all docs, so that should not be a problem for you with school papers, etc.

      • Albert permalink
        March 9, 2012 9:40 am

        Mike, was this recently? I would also like to get a DL and will actually be going to WA for a competition in June. I do not have any kind of identification at the current time or access to any family members who can help but I believe I should be able to get one from the Salvadorean Consulate in SF (I live in Berkeley)

  33. January 19, 2012 1:31 pm

    is so sad to see some of the comments with rage and hate against illegals when You Americans go to any other country You are more than welcome to come invest stay and live if you wanted to in those countries.
    But not here Illegals have made this nation so big and strong yes there are some that screw up things won’t deny that but those that are stupids are the ones to be removed from here not the really hard working people who just want to make a different future from their past lives not the taxpayers with ITIN’s who won’t get a return so who’s getting that money not illegals.
    Why the hate then?? is not like you can get a job a home or benefits with a Driver’s license but if they let every illegal have a license things would be much easier and if they let illegals become legal they tax the shit out of that and there you go America made more MONEY. Cause that what this is all about

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      January 22, 2012 6:08 pm

      Technically, Americans don’t get a “return” for paying taxes; they simply get a refund back when the government requires employers to take out more taxes than the person needs to pay. There is no money that Americans “get back,” but merely a refund when they have overpaid through the whole year. This is determined by the rate at which the government requires the employers to withdraw from an American’s paycheck. Since a driver’s license is often used to qualify for government services, it really has become a touch point for the illegal immigration debate.
      Oh, and contrary to popular belief, Americans are not allowed into other countries with a “free pass,” as you describe. Every other country has limits on immigration, visas, licenses and such, too. It’s all over the international news.

  34. Desperato permalink
    January 22, 2012 6:30 pm

    The illegal imm. Situation is much like the situation of a man who steals bread to feed his family. Though he did what any of us would do and his conscience is clean, it doesnt change the fact that he broke the law. Though they seem unfair all laws must be enforced, or else everyone would be taking advantage of it.

  35. lovemehyM*F* permalink
    February 5, 2012 2:30 am

    wow if we go back in time we will see how stuipid we are fighting over a country that isnt ours uless we are native american. so if your family isnt native american of some sort you should go back to where your family came from. this is what you are teaching the next jenoration. you have to play fair and kick out all the other races too.
    -im 18
    -not from the usa
    -came here to have a better life
    -speak 3 languages
    lets see who ends up with a better job if you know only one language:p
    all is fair in life when you know more :P
    get an attitude adjustment we pick your friuts clean your house and take care of ur lazy***

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      February 7, 2012 9:07 pm

      I think most immigrants would find it rather offensive that you had lumped them in as working all in service industries, but there is the truth that Native Americans were here before Puritans. It seems the human history is a history of invasion.

      • Purplechaios permalink
        April 21, 2012 2:53 pm

        Unlike the Puritans,who used murder, rape, thef and slavery as their contribution to a nature respecting culture…….wait a min, did I say Puritans, sorry i meant to say uncivilized barbarians.
        Today’s immigrants because of our civilized up bringing, will invade by hard work and respect for all Americans great or small….and that’s our contribution. Compare that with your forefather’s behavior to our forefather’s…….now go and sin no more!

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        April 25, 2012 5:56 pm

        Whose forefathers?

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 7:32 pm

      I AM Native and people tell me to “go back where you came from” all the blasted time.

  36. Albert permalink
    March 9, 2012 12:46 am

    Hey, I just found this and would like to know if it is still in effect. I have not been able to find much information in regards to states that ACTUALLY allow illegals to get a driver’s license. Of course I’ve heard of people claiming that certain states allow it or would issue me one but when I check online for the requirements based on the dmv website they all say that a SSN and some kind of ID is required.

    At the current time, I do not have any kind of ID whatsoever because my wallet was recently stolen and the only IDs i had in there were school IDs which I cannot replace right now. I might be able to obtain later on if I enroll in a community college class. I have a TIN and have gone to school here my whole life. I have been working under the table at various jobs and from home for almost 10 years now, I did manage to get a bank account thanks to a friend who knew someone at the bank (won’t specify which one).

    I would really like to have a valid driver’s license because I have already lost a car when I got stopped right in front of my job. Apart from losing the car which I had to give away since I could not get it back I received a nice $1000 ticket since I did not have a license or insurance. The officer did mention to me that he could also arrest me there on the spot since I was braking the law and for all he knows I could be unfit to drive and a danger to society. So basically what would have been an easy fix-it ticket, ended up costing me a whole lot more and my transportation. Now I finally been able to buy another car but I do not want the same thing to happen again since the first incident happened 2 years ago. Yes, I am driving illegally and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it’s not really by choice. I been here for 17 years now but my parents never filed for for my residency and I have no contact with them anymore as things weren’t good at home and I had to go live on my own and now it’s too late for me to apply on my own.

    I realize this is getting to be a little long so I just want to ask if you are able to provide me with any information regarding where and how I can obtain a driver’s license that would be valid in the U.S. Any other information or help regarding obtaining residency would also be appreciated. Obviously there are good and bad people everywhere, so hopefully someone sees this.

    aortiz (at) gmail (dot) com – don’t know if email addresses are allowed but I also don’t want to receive a lot of spam.

    Thanks,
    Albert

  37. Bonnie permalink
    April 1, 2012 6:29 pm

    Can a illegal with a drivers license from Utah drive legally In any other state

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 8:03 pm

      You can DRIVE, as long as it hasn’t expired in Utah, but don’t try to change it over for one of that other state’s.

  38. mayra permalink
    April 11, 2012 5:23 am

    Ok so i was brought here by my parents when i was nine yrs. Old illegally im 24 now (i do have an application for the green card since 1995 and everyday we check the mail hoping today is the day that we are finally get the news that we are finally able to stay here the right way) today about two hours ago my boyfriend nd father of my kids got pulled over nd he has a revoked license sinse like four years ago for driving without a license and well we live in wisconsin and we are not allowed to get drivers licenses which is unfair because how the hell are all you concerned american people are suppose to feel safe in you bubble of a life if you dont know who is a good driver and who is not because news flash people even if you guys are not leting us have D.L we are still driving because we still have to work and drive our kids to school and ballet class socker practice and do everyday things. Do the right thing and help all of us trying to be good people who work study everyday to be able to to drive legaly its for everyones safety please! My boyfriend is a good father a really hard worker (milks cows so your kids can have milk on their bowls everyday with their cereal) nd he is not taking your job or kids jobs away unless you would want to get paid nine bucks an hour nd work about 60 hours a week with no vacation or benefits oo nd every hollyday nd weekend is a must rain or shine healthy or sick if this is the job for you or the dream job you always pictured your kids doing then you are a suckie parent because i really want my kids to be doctors, lawyers, or who knows even president not a milker on a random farm who comes home stickin like cow shit. We the good illegals dont desrve to get treated like crap!!!! If you really look at american history all americans are illegal this country was founded on native lands nd if you send me back for being illegal then dig up your poor great great grand mother and go back where you came from because only natives have the right to be here!!!!

  39. daniel permalink
    May 13, 2012 10:15 pm

    this is ridiculous illegals are just like slaves here in the US they can work but cant drive.. they can rent a house but cant go to college.. if u stop and think its moderm slavery they ” give food and house” but they have to work their ass offff no matter where for minimal wage… i think ALL OF THEM wants to get llegal but there is no way who lives here in this situation knows that and all the americans think they are getting benefits????????? what benefitsss ???? they canT even get DRIVERS LISENCE BRO stop being ignorants americans … OHH BUT THEIR KIDS GO TO SCHOOL HERE FOR FREE.. the money that america wast on those stupid wars its just a tip to educate a kid that doest knwo whats going on and can become great man or just like many immigrants that came here uhhhhh speechless dowg

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 8:10 pm

      I’d like to know how these illegals are GETTING the jobs that we Native Americans can’t, even with MORE qualifications, more education, and no “record.” They’re driving without licenses, illegally, but they’re driving to WORK, to jobs that they got — how, again?!?!

  40. May 24, 2012 1:20 am

    and we have to pay around $3000 to get the car that we legally bought, but didn’t have the license to drive it. i already give the government my money through taxes, still not enough. there is plenty of laws in California that are anti- immigrant. Its not as beautiful as they say.

  41. riki rendon permalink
    July 9, 2012 3:27 am

    riki
    okay im been her for 11 years . came her when i was 3 . im well know at school isee my friends and i think to myslef i wish i had there life . how easy they have it .. but then i think to myself life isnt how easy you have it . its about how far you can get … and people are say we are taking there jobs well tell me this i didnt know you like to clean bathrooms , clean up afther people, be out in the sun all day. you look at you kids like ooo there just out side playing ….. my parents look at me like this his out in the filed working .. kids ever day working to have a better life

    • Penny permalink
      August 29, 2013 8:18 pm

      You’re right. We Native Americans, especially if we’ve done everything “right” and gone to and graduated college, don’t really WANT to do laundry and clean up after people but jobs that require degrees in our fields don’t WANT us because we are Native Americans, so we have to resort to trying to get any job that allegedly WILL take people with brown skin. You’re absolutely right: I have a degree in Biology/Natural Resources and I don’t really want to be a laundromat worker. Will someone “Affirmative Action” FORCE a science lab type job to hire me….but I digress. Immigrants tend NOT to understand why this country’s workforce tends NOT to want to hire Native Americans. Australians “get it” when I liken our situation to theirs with their Aboriginals. Immigrants tend NOT to understand why Native Americans can get that many university degrees and our own country won’t hire us except (and sometimes not even) at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Canada’s is like that too. Canada’s job market allegedly (it’s a lie, by the way) welcomes immigrants with open arms — but we Aboriginals may have many advanced degrees and yet let US apply – and we never hear from them again.

      And don’t anyone tell me I should take my Science degree or my law degree and work in one of our Casinos – there aren’t any APPROPRIATE jobs in the Casinos unless you were a Finance major. Or Casino Management major.

  42. ozeas lannes permalink
    August 3, 2012 4:48 am

    ozeas lannes

    I’ve been in the US *ILEGALLY* for almost 11 years. I work in construction and pay taxes (and get nothing back) with an US ISSUED Individual Tax payer Identification Number (ITIN) ( note that it was designed specially for ilegalls) ever since i started working. I went to HS, did some college, have been paying for each credit in full (ilegalls can’t get any finacial aid). All this with out a drivers license. This is my life and of many of the 11 million people in the US.
    I speak for my self and for most of the 11 million ilegalls that are here in this country: WE WISH TO BECOME LEGAL RESIDENTS!!
    We came here because our countries suck right now! I havent been back in Brazil ever since i came here, and don’t wish to live there again and most of my ilegal possies feel the same way! but we do not have any other choice! we are not welcome here!
    It’s unfair that US hire cheap labor in other countries to make huge bucks on their backs, but can’t welcome those people here!
    U know, we are the ones who build YOUR homes, watch YOUR children, cook YOUR food, pick YOUR fruits, clean YOUR houses, maintain YOUR gardens, etc… it’s unfair that we haven’t been granted, or even been sold a path for legal status, but i think that even so, it would be better than nothing to allow us to drive so we can get from point A to B i little faster than biking, so we can be more efficient at servicing YOU. and that’s what Utah, Washington and New Mexico are doing.

    • anonymous jew permalink
      March 2, 2013 5:22 am

      well YOU are making MY country suck. i want u an all ur buddies that suck off our swiftly diminishing resources to go back home where u belong. btw, u wont want to be legal once u start working ur a$$ off just to have most of it jacked by taxes… every1 should stop hiring you. those are jobs for the youth of a nation. and could be involved w/getting gov’t leeches sitting on ssi to work just a little. but those programs never get a chance to start. LEAVE and they might. NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        March 12, 2013 8:17 pm

        Do you believe there are any valid immigrants? Only people born in America can be here now?

  43. anonymous jew permalink
    March 2, 2013 5:17 am

    awesome! keep it comin! because now i can go get one of these “illegal immigrant licenses” and i dont have to worry about paying all that money on my suspended license! and if i so choose to participate in any illegal activity, i can have it tied to that identity legally, and protect my true record. right?!GOOD IDEA USA (unbelievably stupid a$$h*l*s(;)

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