After concerns were raised that Virginia was issuing drivers licenses to illegal aliens, the General Assembly passed HB 1954 in 2003 which added a requirement in the Virginia Code § 46.2-328.1 to have license applicants prove their legal status. After that passed, I guess we thought we had this issue licked. But have we, really? No.
The law as it stands now reads in part as follows:
…Department shall not issue an original license, permit, or special identification card to any applicant who has not presented to the Department, with the application, valid documentary evidence that the applicant is either (i) a citizen of the United States, (ii) a legal permanent resident of the United States, or (iii) a conditional resident alien of the United States.
The idea here was that as license holders in Virginia came up for renewal, they’d demonstrate that they had legal presence at the time of renewal, and that new license applicants would demonstrate legal presence when they applied for a Virginia driver’s license. Not only would that help us reduce the number of illegal aliens attempting to fraudulently obtain licenses, but it would make it a lot harder for terrorists bent on flying into buildings from getting on airplanes. So how is our super-duper effort to prevent illegal aliens from renewing their driver’s licenses?
My license renewal application answers that pretty clearly. Notice the requirement to provide documentary evidence as the law requires? No, I don’t either.
YOU JUST CHECK A BOX. Oh, yeah, I’m just sure illegal aliens aren’t checking the “yes” boxes on top of this, especially since there’s no requirement to document legal status at all. It would be awfully nice if the DMV actually followed Virginia law, like Virginia drivers are supposed to.
We might want to be running the voter list and the list of drivers license holders against the database at DHS, since it doesn’t seem like we’re doing anything at all to actually prevent illegal aliens from getting drivers licenses or registering to vote. At least lying on this is a Class 2 misdemeanor, if anyone would bother to figure out whether anyone actually was lying or not. From what I’m lead to understand, none of these applications are actually checked. None.
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