I’ve grown quite accustomed to the Washington Post blatantly shilling for the far left. What I’ve rarely seen so far is a clearly intentional effort on their parts to misrepresent the facts when doing so. In an editorial published this week, they set a new standard in journalistic malfeasance, accelerating the impending total collapse of the mainstream media which we can only pray happens as soon as possible. Journalism, at least insofar as the profession is represented by the Washington Post, is dead and rotting.
Va Code 46.2-328.1, enacted in 2003, prohibits Virginia from providing drivers licenses or other identification documents to illegal aliens. Previous administrations however mistakenly allowed illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses if they were in possession of a federal Employment Authorization Card, which allows a person to obtain employment but does not establish legal residency. Not until the recent incident of an illegal alien killing a nun who had been issued one of these cards by DHS while he was awaiting a deportation hearing was the McDonnell administration made aware of this issue. After learning of this Governor McDonnell rightly directed state authorities not to issue drivers licenses to persons trying to use these cards to prove legal status, which they don’t do.
So here’s the Post’s take on this:
WITH THE STROKE of a pen, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has thrown up a roadblock in the path of thousands of law-abiding foreign nationals who seek to obtain a driver’s license in the state. He did so despite the fact that they are legally authorized to live and work in Virginia, and in many cases have been for years.
With the first sentence the Post launches into a distortion of the truth that is breathtaking. The Post wrongly characterizes illegal aliens who have broken our laws as “law abiding”, and it wrongly characterizes these Employment Authorization Cards as documenting legal status, which they do not. Based on these deliberate misrepresentations (unless you ascribe to the notion that the Post editorial board is so incompetent that can’t even bother to establish the facts) it launches into a tirade about how unfair it is for Virginia to enforce current law.
Mr. McDonnell’s order disallows federal work permit cards as a basis for securing driver’s licenses or ID cards in Virginia, even though they are accepted for that purpose in a majority of states. One group likely to be particularly hurt are the many thousands of Salvadorans in Virginia who have been authorized to work here since the federal government granted them legal status in 2001, following two devastating earthquakes in their native country. The Salvadorans frequently rely on the federal work permits to get driver’s licenses; in many cases, they have no other proof of legal presence.
The Post, which seems to have such a close relationship with Salvadorans, should be aware that those here legally under Temporary Protected Status (since 2001, no less, when a hurricane struck El Salvador) should be in possession at all times of documentation proving their status from USCIS under federal law. Employment Authorization Cards are something TPS awardees can file for separately. The only persons who might have an Employment Authorization Card and nothing else are illegal aliens who for some insane reason were given these while awaiting deportation, or who otherwise came in contact with the federal government. The Obama Administration has been handing these out like candy bars to illegals found during workplace enforcement raids, at least when the administration was still bothering to conduct them.
The reason the people in question “have no other proof of legal presence” is because they are illegal aliens, and the Employment Authorization Card they might have is not proof of legal presence. It’s like saying that not accepting an honorary degree as proof of a college education is wrong, because a high school dropout might not have any other proof of having obtained a Master’s degree.
The governor’s decision was impelled by the tragic death last month of Sister Denise Mosier, 66, a nun who was killed in an accident involving an illegal immigrant, Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano. Mr. Martinelly-Montano, who had two previous drunk driving convictions, is accused of swerving into the path of a vehicle carrying Sister Denise in Prince William County. Although he was facing deportation proceedings, Mr. Martinelly-Montano was able to obtain a federal work permit card to establish legal residence and apply for a Virginia ID card. He did not have a valid Virginia driver’s license at the time of the accident.
You’d think that even the Post could connect the dots between the individual being an illegal alien awaiting a deportation hearing and the Employment Authorization Card (he clearly shouldn’t have qualified for) not being proof in the eyes of the federal government of legal presence, yet they still persist with this fallacy that Martinelly-Montano ever established legal presence with documents that don’t grant it. Blinded by whatever liberal agenda they’re trying to peddle, such obvious bread crumbs that might otherwise lead to the truth end up wasted. Still, the Post actually manages to stumble upon some factual content by the third paragraph. They get the names right.
Citing that terrible incident, the governor has demonized anyone who relies on the work permit card, which is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, even though few of the card-holders face deportation proceedings. State officials say that foreign residents of Virginia will still be able to use other documents — passports, visas, resident alien cards — to establish their legal presence. And it’s true that in most cases a foreigner must first have one of those documents before he can obtain a work permit.
Bob McDonnell somehow “demonized” people by requiring that Virginia law be applied by the Department of Motor Vehicles. That’s the left for you. When the facts don’t fit, resort to over-the-top rhetoric that characterizes your political adversaries as monsters with no reason. That’s “journalism,” right?
But large numbers of foreigners rely on the work permit card as proof of legal residence, particularly those with limited education or English-language skills. In many cases, immigrants lose or discard secondary documents, thinking that the coveted work card — complete with infrared ink, microscopic printing, embedded codes, holoscopic overlays and laser markings that make it almost counterfeit-proof — will suffice. In other cases, those secondary documents may be taken and never returned by immigration attorneys or bogus “lawyers” known as notarios, who prey on unsophisticated foreign residents by arranging credentials for them.
So here’s an opportunity for the Post to actually focus on a real problem — those predators that prey upon illegal aliens and the criminal enterprises that feed on this national problem. In this case it’s a swing and a miss, with a passing reference to this huge problem that destroys lives and perpetuates criminal activity, but there’s no apparent interest in actually addressing that issue. How about instead of bashing the Governor for doing what the law plainly requires, the Post actually expose the illegal horrendous practices and behaviors of those who try to profit from illegal immigration?
Virginia officials say some 19,000 driver’s licenses have been issued in the state on the basis of the federal work permits — a tiny percentage of the total but hardly a trivial number. Many of the license-holders are Salvadoran nationals in Northern Virginia who are legally authorized to be here. For those license-holders and others like them, Mr. McDonnell’s order will have a dramatic and harmful impact on their ability to live, work and drive in the state.
So finally we get to something of actual interest here. There are 19,000 illegal aliens that have their unlawful presence in Virginia facilitated to some degree by the federal government through their practice of handing out Employment Authorization Cards to illegal aliens instead of having them deported. Although I suspect some few of these cards were issued to people who should be permitted to remain in the country for some reason, no one should have only that card as their sole proof of legal presence. There are dozens of visas and other documents that refugees, temporary workers, missionaries, and other special-case individuals can rightly qualify for instead of having them try to rely on a work permit to try to somehow establish legal residency.
Bob McDonnell’s actions should have a dramatic impact on the ability of illegal aliens to remain in Virginia in defiance of federal immigration laws. Not from the standpoint this is going to make some measurable difference in the problem, but at least we’re not allowing illegal aliens to avail themselves of this gaping loophole through which nearly twenty thousand illegal aliens managed to get Virginia drivers licenses. The more we hang out the sign that Virginia is serious about dealing with this issue, perhaps fewer illegal aliens will decide to unlawfully reside here. Actions like these deter illegal aliens, and given the behavior of the Obama administration, unfortunately that’s about the best we can do for a while.
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