Friday, January 30, 2004

I'm really peeved at the new law that will go into effect in North Carolina on Tuesday, which will require applicants for driver's licenses to prove they are in the US legally (except Canadians). So now, for example, the matricula consular, an identification card issued by the Mexican Government to its citizens abroad, will no longer be accepted at the NC DMV. Supposedly, this is to thwart terrorists (as if someone bent on flying a plane into a building wouldn't be capable of forging enough identification to get his or her ass in an airline seat ...) But the real practical effect is going to be that thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans will be driving illegally, because they are going to do whatever it takes to get themselves to work. That's why they're here.

This really just appears to be a law designed to harass undocumented workers, dreamed up by the kind of people who are happy to have Latinos scrubbing their toilets on the cheap, but feel the need to remind them of their place in the world.

But aside from whether you believe undocumented workers should or shouldn't be here in the first place, isn't it a good idea to encourage people planning to maneuver huge metal machines around in public to pass a little test first?

I predict a rise in hit-and-runs: folks who didn't even pass a test to drive are going to get into accidents and hightail it because a) they're driving without licenses, which is illegal and b) they're in the country illegally and are afraid the cops will subsequently turn them over to La Migra.

As for the "solution" to terrorism, I don't know, but I do know that the odds of me dying in a terrorist attack are probably less than 1 in 1.5 million, while the odds of me dying in a traffic accident are at least 1 in 7,000. So which do I give a crap about more: the potential terrorist who's too stupid to get in with a good forger, or the guy driving without a license on his way to your house to cut the lawn?

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