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new law on TX driver's licences

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  • new law on TX driver's licences

    I just thought I would pass this along because it is important. Texas legislature is considering a law (SB 944) that would change issuance of driver's licenses to non-US citizens. It would require that a non-citizen shows evidence of lawful residence when applying for original or renewal and, if the period of authorized stay was less than six years the driver's licence would expire on the date of end of authorized stay instead of the customary six years. So far, so good. Here comes proposed change number 3: all noncitizens, including permanent residents, would have the word NONCITIZEN put on the front of their driver's licences. This last provision is an open invitation for harassment of legal permanent residents by anyone who asks for their ID. How this ever managed to get out of the senate subcommittee, I don't know, but enough to say that it did. It probably will be debated by full Senate later in this legislative session. So, if you Texans were worried about John Ashcroft before, now you have to also be worried about police officers stopping you for speeding and the store clerks asking for your ID when you pay with a credit card.

  • #2
    I just thought I would pass this along because it is important. Texas legislature is considering a law (SB 944) that would change issuance of driver's licenses to non-US citizens. It would require that a non-citizen shows evidence of lawful residence when applying for original or renewal and, if the period of authorized stay was less than six years the driver's licence would expire on the date of end of authorized stay instead of the customary six years. So far, so good. Here comes proposed change number 3: all noncitizens, including permanent residents, would have the word NONCITIZEN put on the front of their driver's licences. This last provision is an open invitation for harassment of legal permanent residents by anyone who asks for their ID. How this ever managed to get out of the senate subcommittee, I don't know, but enough to say that it did. It probably will be debated by full Senate later in this legislative session. So, if you Texans were worried about John Ashcroft before, now you have to also be worried about police officers stopping you for speeding and the store clerks asking for your ID when you pay with a credit card.

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    • #3
      As long as the person is legally here, what's the problem with legal resident non-citizen being on their license? They'd have the same rights nad protection as a USC if they were harrassed or bothered. Employers will still hire them as long as they're legal. They'll have access to government benefits if they're legal. We're all statistics, from the moment we're conceived until the moment we die - I'm afraid I'm missing your point. I'd be interested to hear what you're getting at.

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      • #4
        Thanks for asking. Maybe I wasn't very clear last time, so here is a clarification. My point was first of all to spread the word. Every time a legislature ponders a law that impacts immigrants, they need to know that. Second of all, i voiced a grave concern, and here is why. Texas has a large immigrant population. Texas also has a group of people who seem to blame immigrants for every ill that befalls the state and some of this group of people believe they can treat immigrants like crap. Some of them get employed in positions that guarantee frequent asking for IDs. It's not hard to imagine that when a motorist gets stopped for something, the cop sees license that says that the motorist is not US citizen, so the cop says a few mean words to the motorist in addition to assessing a higher traffic ticket. It takes just one prejudiced cop. Similar thing can happen in a bar - someone orders a beer, someone else sees the person's license and figures out that it's OK to beat that person up because the person is only a foreigner. The intention of this law might be noble, but the unintended consequences - what happens when an immigrant patron meets a prejudiced clerk, policeman, bartender, you name it - will be quite interesting.

        Impossible? Ha! A friend of mine, a white woman who will be mistaken for an American until she opens her mouth, recently had to get a new driver's license in Texas because her name had changed. Because she revealed, when asked, that she was a permanent resident, she was asked for a green card. She didn't have one because of INS delay with card issuance, but had a stamped passport plus documents proving that she had changed her name. The clerks in the license office accused her of lying, of being in the country illegally, said she needed a better immigration lawyer and a few other things that nearly made her cry. They were far from polite; they became suspicious and accusatory. She got the new license eventually, but she is still angry about the experience.

        So maybe that NONCITIZEN thing on the driver's license is nothing, but then again, my friend's adventure proves otherwise. It's not the services that legal immigrants are eligible for; it's what they might have to go through to get those services. This legislation, in the minds of some, will create an open season on immigrants. As far as I am aware, there is no bill in legislature that explicitly prohibits bad treatment of anyone whose license says that person is a noncitizen. And that is scary enough.

        Comment


        • #5
          well I guess that all hispanic who reside in TX (And most of them do ), They have voted for Bush.
          will they vote for him again ???????????????

          Comment


          • #6
            Texas does not seem to be alone in its blaming of all its problems on immigrants. I do think, however, that it may be illegal immigrants, not immigrants as a whole. At least in NC it's that way - NC folks (I'm a transplant) don't seem to care who's here as long as they're supposed to be and are contributing and participating like everyone else. Harassment may increase, but here's a thought - if a person has a card that says noncitizen, but it is legal ID, might that not turn the tide a bit? If they're legal, they might not be viewed as a so-called border-jumper and actually get a bit more respect. I wonder if that kind of proof of legal status might make it easier for folks to get benefits, etc. I'm very sorry about your friend's experience. That must've been humiliating and scary. Any time anyone is labelled there's room for discrimination, harassment and categorizing - I guess I see it differently, but I appreciate your clarification. I hope your friend doesn't think all of us Americans are like that ... but most DMV employees are!

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