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Md. Immigrant License Deal May Be Unraveling

The tentative compromise between House and Senate lawmakers on how to end Maryland's system of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants may be unraveling.

The deal between legislative leaders announced on the Senate floor this morning would shut the door on April 19 to new license seekers who cannot prove their legal presence in the country. But it would allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants who already are driving legally through Maryland's out-of-country program to renew their licenses for a limited driving permit. On July 1, 2015, that license would expire.

That's the version presented to the Senate this morning, with the blessing of President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) and some conservative Democrats who had opposed any grandfathering in of undocumented immigrants who now hold licenses.

But House lawmakers on a joint conference committee that is reviewing the plan--and in theory had signed off on it over the weekend--are balking. They apparently believed that immigrants who renewed their driving permits before July 1, 2015 would be able to keep them for the five-year life of the license under the deal, effectively extending the system until 2019. They don't like the 2015 cutoff.

"Right now we're nowhere," said Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery), chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.

By Lisa Rein  |  April 13, 2009; 5:41 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , Lisa Rein  
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My car and my passenger were hurt when an illegal immigrant hit my car. They didn't possess any insurance and there was no recourse. Illegal immigrants should NOT be driving in our country. I am so sick of being an American ...whats the point except you can draft my son and he can be killed for the country . Illegal's are not worried about serving only gettting.

Posted by: Changeiscoming1 | April 13, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I can not believe our representatives are arguing over whether they should enforce the law in 2015 or 2019. Enforce it now.

Posted by: HockeyMike351 | April 13, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

No two-tier system is acceptable. Better to call a special session than to compromise at all. Illegals shouldn't have licenses -- period.

Posted by: postisarag | April 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm baffled by this coddling of criminals; I quit the Democratic party two years ago over this. Friends in my black-and-white neighborhood have fled from the invasion of illegals and their drug dealing, gang meetings, NOISE NOISE NOISE, MS-13 sprayed on the street & cars, and pet killing and NOISE NOISE NOISE. They replaced a retired chemist, a football coach, a retired music teacher (a black lady who was hilarious and an artist) and other people who were easy to live with. I'm a white guy who voted for Obama but I might not next time because of this ridiculous situation. I could not even get a MD ID card before I bought a car because of the hurdles I had to go through. The last time I waited at the MVA I was the only white among a standing-room-only room full of Spanish-speaking Latinos.

Posted by: beoods | April 13, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This should really be a no-brainer. I am all for immigration reform. I think without question, the first step that has to happen is to secure our borders. In the absence of that, states need to establish a secure ID for lawful citizens. 2015 is 5+ years away, and that would seem a reasonable amount of time for MD to get their pathetic act together on driver's licenses and for the fed to get their equally pathetic act together on the borders (yes there's more than one we need to worry about).

Posted by: kwbinMD | April 13, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I am honestly disgusted by the Democrats who are even considering illegal immigrants a drivers license in this state. All they care about is garnering the Latino vote come election time. Traitors the the US and Md, it's time to pack up and find me a Republican place to live.

Posted by: Bowhunter | April 13, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Once it is illegal in MD for illegal immigrants to obtain MD drivers licenses they will just go to another state that does allow it and get their license there and then drive legally here. MD should prohibit licenses for illegals anyway but that will not stop them from "legally" driving. The US needs a federal policy or at least coordination among states to not honor out of state legal drivers licenses carried by illegal immigrants. Maybe this should just be put to a referendum. The People know what they want the law to be. Why is it so hard for our representatives to do the right thing?

Posted by: Fate1 | April 13, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"[...] it's time to pack up and find me a Republican place to live."
Posted by: Bowhunter

Many of those states also allow illegals to get drivers licenses. And the republicans had 6 years of complete federal control and did nothing. This is not a republican/democrat issue. Its a corporate issue of getting cheap labor. And both parties like the money corporations give.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 13, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

The only reasonable solution is as follows:

As of April 19, 2009, no licenses shall issue to anyone who cannot demonstrate legal presence.

As of July 2009, all persons whatsoever in the State of Maryland should receive notices to re-apply for their licenses. By December 2009, every license issued by the State of Maryland before April 30 2009 should be declared Null and Void, and this declaration should be promulgated nationwide to all police forces, and internationally to Interpol.

Simply stated, by the end of the year, Federal law requires that no Maryland license non-conformant to the REAL ID Act of 2009 be honored as valid.

All Marylandders should call their representatives all day, every day, until this issue is resolved, as stated above.

Posted by: thardman | April 13, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Will someone show me where to find how my representatives voted on this issue?

Posted by: woody2471 | April 13, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I know of an illegal in VA, a state that currently supposedly requires proof. he was able to renew his license without having to show a social security number becuase he had one prior to 9/11. I love how he can get multiple tickets or not pay property taxes and get away with it, how can the state come after him if he does not have a social? he doesnt exist yet he has a license. he is one of many in VA that still have licenses. Its a joke. He is a nice guy but what's to stop a terrorist from getting one? Its unbelievable. they go after residents and citizens for any little thing but all the illegals get away with everything.

Posted by: tony28 | April 13, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Its about time Md. got some balls. Now the whole country needs to follow suit.

Posted by: matrox | April 13, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

theres why too much complaining going on for reals....why does it have to be LATINOS.......WHY cant it be africans or europeans. or arabics in the country??????
this is why the system don't work cause there is still racial profiling!! people make me sick for thinking... one race should suffer! its all a failed policy.. its not new! get over it. make a law that works and be done with a citizen, we choose. not the government!

Posted by: supertroy301 | April 13, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

We need to enforce the law, there are many illegal allens that are coming from other states to obtain a license.

Why are you giving a license to people to people that cannot speak English or read English street signs.

Posted by: nativeva1 | April 13, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

As someone who once translated documents for many folks who were getting licenses in Maryland (and whether they were here legally or not was none of my business, because I wasn't hired to be the INS - I am a certified court interpreter and therefore authorized to translate documents for the Maryland MVA), all I can say is that by having a driver's license, it makes it possible for these folks to get insurance so when they hit you -- if they hit you -- at least you don't have to worry about uninsured motorists. This isn't to say that they all get insurance, but without a license, you can't get it at all. In addition, if someone breaks the law, by having a license, he is trackable -- there's a photo of that person on record, a fingerprint, last known address, etc. No license, no tracking.

Just my two cents'.

Posted by: sandra_alboum | April 13, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

If politician can not enact this law and begin enforcing it yesterday then deport thier a$$es too! What the hale are they afraid of?? Retaliation from MS13?

Posted by: matrox | April 13, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

If Md were really smart, they would set up a net at each MVA. When someone comes in to get a lisc and the can not prove they are legal then flag them, arrest them as an illegal immigrant. This can be across the board. I don't mind walking in with my birth certificate if needed, god already knows our SS# are our dog tags. Do illegals have SS#s?

Posted by: matrox | April 13, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

All these law makers have to do is vote E-Verify as a state mandate for all businesses and contractors. Watch and see how quickly the illegals clear out and the problem is solved. But that would require honest politicians, acting in the best interest of the legal residents who voted for them.

But, it's nice to have a dream. Maryland is a sanctuary state and these law makers are in the pockets of business. Hey, you can't guarantee cheap labor for the low ball contract bids without the illegals.

If legal residents of Maryland give law makers a pass to re-visit in 2015, law makers will vote to continue the tier and re-visit in another five years.

Its a sad day when corrupt politicians feel they have the right to spend so much time debating ways to ensure illegal aliens have more rights than legal residents.

Does anyone think the law makers in Mexico, Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, etal will be as accommodating if we Americans decided to move in and take over, demanding the same benefits and services?

Posted by: asmith1 | April 13, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"Many of those states also allow illegals to get drivers licenses."
Only three others - Maryland is the only state east of the Rockies where the majority of legislators would rather pander to the illegal vote than protect their country and its' citizens.

As for the thoughts that illegals should keep their licenses until 2015 or 2019? 2015 would be another election cycle for illegals to use those Maryland drivers licenses to vote for President (and a LOT of them did this year). 2019 would be two cycles. Any question about what the politicians are really after?

I've got a real compromise for them - revoke the drivers licenses of illegal aliens, and we won't vote you out of office next year.

Posted by: amhmd | April 13, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Explain why when it comes to inmigration everyone thinks is only latinos how about chiness indians russians etc. Stop beeing ignorant talking about just Latinos.

Posted by: mariacas1 | April 15, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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