Thursday, February 27, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Driving While Undocumented

April 19, 2019 --

The New York Times, in its April 15 lead editorial, supported "legislation [proposed for New York state] to let undocumented immigrants receive driver's licenses, as a dozen states and the District of Columbia do." The editorial noted, "For those who have to work and raise their families in the shadows as they provide cheap labor for contractors, restaurants, farms and factories, a driver's license could change their lives."

How far The New York Times has come from the June 14, 1939 editorial, commenting on the return to Europe of the Hamburg-American liner St. Louis, with its complement of more than 900 Jews trying to flee Hitler's Germany. Eighty years ago, when the U.S. population was some 140 million the paper announced that the days of "mass migration" to the America were over. (Today, the population is more than 330 million.)

The April 15 editorial, "Let Undocumented Immigrants Drive," cited the case of "Aldo, a 40-year-old Mexican working illegally in construction and the food industry, [who] lives with his wife and young son on Staten Island's South Shore, far from public transportation." The editorial went on to say that Aldo is "'fearful'" of "interacting with law enforcement," because "'[t]hey know you don't have a license,'...."

The editorial also cited a 2017 study showing that in California the number of "hit-and-run accidents" dropped some 7 to 10 percent " after the state permitted undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses. The editorial added that in New Mexico, after undocumented immigrants were allowed to get driver's licenses, "the percentage of uninsured drivers fell to 9.1 percent in 2011 from 33 percent in 2002."

The Times apparently is unaware of the irony presented by "undocumented Immigrants" driving without license or insurance: these are clearly people whose lack of documentation is, at least, threefold.

The Times concluded, "Keeping people like Aldo fearful doesn't make anyone else safer. Giving them the right to have a driver's license makes sense." After New York state allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, LPR imagines next an editorial that will contend: normalizing the status of undocumented immigrants with driver's licenses makes sense.

LPR believes that what does not make sense is an immigration issue that cannot be resolved because one political party, encouraged by the media, is filled with such hate for the president that it equates the common good with incessant demonizing of the president. It seems that, certainly for the Times, no day goes by without an attack on President Donald Trump in the news and/or the opinion columns. Ironically, writing in the April issue of Esquire, Peter J. Boyer asserts ("The Paper of 'Gotcha!'") that President Trump "is more accessible and his thinking more transparent than any other president in memory." Boyer, in his not-unsympathetic-to -Trump article indicates that the media may come to regret the abandonment of objectivity in covering Trump.

Under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat party is apparently satisfied with finding ways and means to assail President Trump, the better to weaken his chances of re-election, than to solve the humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border.