1:30 PM EDT, March 28, 2013
As a life-long Maryland citizen, I completely oppose efforts within our misguided General Assembly to pass the Maryland Highway Safety Act of 2013, which would allow the state to issue a Maryland driver's license to illegal immigrants ("State Senate approves driver's licenses for illegal immigrants" Mar 25).
I do not agree that this proposed legislation will make Maryland roads safer; in fact, I believe the exact opposite. Illegal immigrants, just by their status as "illegal," have far less incentive to follow the law than legal citizens which, I believe, will result in long term risks to the legal citizens of Maryland through increased property damage from accidents caused by illegal immigrants, lack of legal accountability from illegal immigrants causing accidents, increased costs to legal citizens to purchase insurance, pursue legal claims, etc.
Maryland is quickly becoming a sanctuary for illegal immigrants for a variety of reasons, and being able to obtain a driver's license will only attract more. I believe that everyone living in the U.S. must obey all of our laws. I am appalled that the General Assembly of our great state continues to be misguided by a governor who could care less for the legal citizens of Maryland (as evidenced by all the tax increases during his administration) and continues to pass laws that provide incentives for illegal immigrants to continue to break the law (e.g. the Dream Act). What, then, is the incentive for law abiding legal citizens to continue obeying the law if illegal immigrants are encouraged to break it?
I believe that illegal immigrants are breaking the law (emphasis on their status as "illegal") and should be dealt with accordingly, not provided incentives to continue breaking the law. Once these illegal immigrants follow existing law and become legal citizens, they should be afforded all the rights and protections that every other legal citizen enjoys. However, they must follow the existing immigration law and obey the law to first become legal residents of our nation. Our country was founded on immigration but it is also the world's greatest democracy because of our firm foundation in the law and the expectation that everyone must obey the law and that no one is above the law, including Maryland's governor and the General Assembly. I vehemently object to any efforts by the General Assembly to circumvent federal immigration law by providing illegal immigrants with official documentation and status which then encourages illegal immigrants to continue breaking the law to the detriment of all legal citizens of Maryland.
Jonathan E. Miller, Columbia
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun