It would seem one of the minor topics dujour deals with illegal immigrants and drivers licenses/ identification cards and I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
In my area there is a large influx of illegal immigrants from every country south of the border. Alot of people bitch (though not too loudly) but for the most part the impact is invisible. They aren't taking jobs away from anyone as we have more jobs than workers. While alot of the manual labor workers pay no taxes, they still pay sales taxes when they buy things. The issue is the laborer who pays no taxes and then gets welfare, food stamps, assisted medical care and other such niceties we pay for and they haven't.
So now the screaming political rant is that we should make it hard for them to live here. Do not give them drivers licenses and such. The problem you think you are causing really isn't a problem for them. I see the look of confusion. You see, without a license Jose is still going to drive to work. His wife is still going to drive to her job. They are going to drive to the doctor, grocery store, etc albeit, without a legal license. So now you get that evil glint in your eye. "Chicken, doesn't that mean you can put them in jail when you catch them ?" Why yes, young Jedi, I can. But lets look at this another way.
*Space- a county jail can only hold so many people. Were I to ticket AND jail these people the jail in this county couldn't hold the ones we would take in just one weekend. In South Carolina they are entitled to a Bond Hearing within 24 hours of arrest, yes, which means unless they spit at the judge they will be out most quickly. But with county, municipal, security, and Highway Patrol putting these drivers away we would not have enough space. Have to stack them like cord wood which is against their Constitutional rights.
*Finances- even if these people are only in jail for a few hours, it still costs the taxpayer hundreds of dollars. Here's the kicker- it costs more to jail them than the county recoups when they pay the fine. Keep them in jail long enough to lose their job and now YOU get to pay for THEIR welfare and food stamps.
*Relationships- long term, these people are not going to leave the country just because I put them in jail for not having a license. They are not going to leave if I put them in jail every weekend for not having a drivers license. No, they will stay, but with a sense of animosity toward me and this country in general. I see them every once in a while now, those people of Hispanic origin who act as though the laws of this country mean nothing since they themselves are illegally here. The crimes escalate in nature and severity as their sense of apathy toward our community grows.
Now lets add my two cents. I've got ten years as a Patrol Officer (read: Neanderthal) and I've learned to be able to pick out the information I need from a Mexican Drivers License and a few others but what about the officers with no such knowledge ? Would not an identification card written in English assist the young patrolman greatly, adding to his efficiency and decreasing the amount of time he has to spend on each individual case ? And what about identifying the suspect they are talking to ? On any given day I can show you in the Booking Computer a dozen different jail birds who have been to jail under a half dozen names because they don't have an identification card to prove otherwise.
And what about drivers licences ? Keep in mind and remember your own adventure in obtaining the license for vehicular freedom as a teen. The one key factor in building up to getting a DL was TAKING A TEST ! You had to show you knew what the laws were. You had to show you recognized street signs and traffic markings. Finally, you had to get in a vehicle and convince an over-worked and under-paid DMV employee that you knew what the fork you were doing behind the wheel. With a license we would know the illegal knows how to drive. Without boring you with detail, suffice to say YOUR insurance rates would go down.
So what I'm saying here is, issuing ID cards would assist me in doing my job as well as lowering the money you have to shell out in taxes. Plain and simple. Not issuing them makes my job slightly more difficult on several levels and does nothing toward driving these people home. The chuckle you share over the little bit of revenge would turn to tears if you knew how much it was costing you to achieve it.