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when did the meaning of illegal change?

Posted by gnn1 on Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I live in New York state.  So I have been following Gov Spitzer’s now-abandoned plan to give driver licenses to those who are here illegally.  Now, another blog I just read makes a great point.  In New York, it’s a bloody pain to get any form of ID from the Dept of Motor Vehicles.  Every ‘i’ must be dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, just so.  You have to provide a certain number of ‘points’ of proof of identity, and certain documents are worth a certain number of points.  People, legal residents–people who were born in this country–can be (and have been) denied an ID with all their valid point of ID, simply because of a (legal) name change (read the linked blog above).

Now, MY big sticking point is the word illegal.  Once upon a time people who were found to be illegal were deported.  Now they get drivers licenses.

I understand some of the thinking behind them: for one, they’ll be able to get car insurance, so if there’s an accident, there is coverage.  Two, it can be a way to track illegals (Hilary Clinton’s words).  WHY track them?  Either give them legal status or take the necessary steps to uphold the law you swore to uphold when you were elected.

Spitzer scrapped his plan in the face of massive criticism.  Well, today, CNN.com has a column by Ruben Navarrette Jr, criticising us critics, saying we are in denial, and playing the racism card.

Excuse me?  I have a problem with illegal immigrants, whether they come from North of the Border, South of the Border, Europe, Asia, or Arab countries.  That does NOT make me racist.

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