CANDIDATE FOR SAN FERNANDO VALLEY COUNCIL DISTRICT 11
P.O. BOX 3465
VAN NUYS, CA 91407
tel 818-989-3043, fax: 818-989-1905
August 13, 2002
Governor Gray Davis
State Capital Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Davis:
Soon you will have to decide whether to sign a bill that would grant driver's licenses to certain undocumented immigrants.
I read in the Orange County register, that Latino activists and other community leaders vowed Friday (August 9, 2002) to pressure you with letter-writing campaigns, days-long vigils and demonstrations in Los Angeles and Sacramento. I hope you will not bow to the pressure.
According to the Orange County register, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo's bill, AB60, would grant driver's licenses to immigrants who have started the naturalization process and received a receipt from the INS. The bill would require a background check.
Without ever having been interviewed by the FBI or the U.S. Department of Justice, can you or Mr. Cedillo explain to Californians just how any background information on the millions of illegal immigrants in California will be obtained? And just how will local law enforcement determine the background of illegal immigrants who possess these driver's licenses?
How will the backgrounds of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens some who may be fugitives in their own country, who have arrived from Mexico (or any other country), a month ago, or a year ago, or even five years ago be determined? Will the state do a "make" on every illegal immigrant applying for driver's license with the Mexican (or other foreign) Consolute?
It is noteworthy, that after 9/11, a background check of all of the 19 terrorists who all had valid driver's licenses, revealed that they did not have any criminal record (at least not in the U.S.).
I'm afraid that Mr. Cedillo is taking advantage of others' lack of knowledge about immigration law, to further his personal agenda. He stated "The background check is the same as the one they're already doing for their INS application." But what Mr. Cedillo does not say, is that the INS does not do any background checks on illegal immigrants in the U.S. until their visa waiting period comes up, the minimum of which is at least eight years.
As you know from my letter to you of March 29, 2002, my wife processed the 245(i) papers for two of my brothers-in-law (I did the paperwork). Although my brothers-in-law fall into the category of honest, hard working, immigrants looking for a better life for themselves and their families, I did provide you with proof that your approval of AB60 would allow any illegal alien with sinister motives to harm Americans, to easily fill out the same papers as was done for my brothers-in-law and qualify for a California driver's license. As much as I would want my brothers-in-law to get driver's licenses, I don't think that you nor I would want driver's licenses to fall into the wrong hands.
Absolutely anyone can obtain or download any INS form, fill it out with false information, mail it in with a check, and receive a "Notice of Action" receipt. The "Notice of Action" would be the applicants only "proof" that they are in the process of becoming a legal resident. In fact, the Notice of Action is only the INS' acknowledgment that they have received a check and correspondence -- NOTHING MORE!
And of course, since it would be discriminating if Cedillo's license privilege were extended only to Mexicans; and Central and South Americans, you would have to also provide licenses to illegal immigrants of any other nationality including illegals from Arab countries or even terrorist countries -- virtually anyone who fills out and sends in an application for legalization to the INS.
At the risk of jeopardizing one of my brothers-in-law's petition for legalization, I have enclosed a copy of the I130 form that was filled out on his behalf and the Notice of Action receipt received, a copy of which he now carries with him at all times, to show to any law enforcement officer, should his immigration status be questioned.
I now bring your attention to line 16 of the I130 form (Petition for Alien Relative). The question asks "Has your relative ever been under immigration proceedings?" Since my brother-in-law was once deported, "Yes" was checked off. This should have been a red flag to not only turn down the petition, but to launch an investigation. Nevertheless, the Notice of Action was sent. It has been more than a year since my brother-in-law received the Notice of Action. If he were a terrorist, he would be roaming the U.S. with INS permission.
Moreover, a thorough background check and thorough medical check will only be required at the time just before a visa is issued which could be up to 10 years from the date of the Notice of Action. In other words, a criminal who has a contagious disease who has applied for legalization, can reside in the U.S. for at least two years and possibly up to 10 years before he/she would be deported (if they can be found) because of a negative criminal background and/or negative medical check.
I love my wife's family and know personally that my brothers-in-law pose no security risk for our country, but neither you nor Mr. Cedillo can guarantee that anyone smart enough to learn to fly an airliner into a high-rise, could not also be smart enough to disguise themselves as an illegal immigrant seeking a driver's license, in order to cause harm to Americans.
If you sign AB60, you will place Californians in danger and send the message that anyone can change the law by breaking the law.
Sent to Gov. Davis, certified, signature required.
CC:Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, certified, signature required. Tom Ridge, Office Of Homeland Security Congressman Tom Tancredo Congressman Howard Berman Senator Diane Feinstein Senator Barbara Boxer Sheriff Lee Baca Minerva Canto, Reporter for The Orange County Register Hanh Kim Quach, Reporter for The Orange County Register Other unnamed recipients Open letter to the public