Archive for the “Illegal Drivers Licenses” Category

KATU

GLADSTONE, Ore. - An illegal immigrant has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for a deadly hit-and-run accident near Gladstone.

Mary Richey, 40, was crossing Highway 99E in a wheelchair when she was struck on November 28. She had just gotten off a TriMet bus. The road is also known as Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard.

On Wednesday, Rafael Avelino Gines pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run charges.

Gines fled the scene after the accident but later turned himself in.

He faces deportation after he serves his prison sentence.

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WRAL

Jackson ? A woman injured in a head-on collision after a man drove the wrong way on Interstate 540 said she would like him to know how much he has taken from her.

Bettie Coates, 42, was headed home from work early on Oct. 25 when she was involved in the wreck on eastbound I-540 between Creedmoor and Six Forks roads.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I was like, ‘That’s a car,’” Coates said, noting that the other driver flicked on his lights a split-second before the collision. “I didn’t see him. I couldn’t turn. I didn’t have time to react. I didn’t have time to do anything.”

Eblin Fabiel Ocampo Cruz, 22, has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, driving while impaired, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed and possession of a revoked license in connection with the wreck.

Authorities said Cruz is in the country illegally.

Coates, who had recently moved back to North Carolina from Pittsburgh, was trapped inside her Ford Mustang, which was crushed in the collision.

“I just remember a lot of blood just running down my face,” she said.

The wreck shattered her thigh and ankle bones, and she underwent three surgeries during 29 days in WakeMed. She has moved in with her grandparents in Northampton County for the next few months while she recuperates.

Her lack of mobility makes it difficult to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Donovan, she said.

“He wants me to play with him. He doesn’t understand why Mommy can’t do certain things,” she said.

Coates said she has thought about writing a letter to Cruz to let him know how hard it is for her not to play with Donovan, not to go check on the construction of her house and not to return to work.

“He’s taken a lot from me,” she said. “For him to have sneaked into the country (and) then for him to just think he can do whatever he can do and get away with it is very frustrating.”

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Inside Bay Area

OAKLAND - The suspect in a Thanksgiving hit-and-run that killed a 5-year-old girl and her 14-year-old cousin — and left her mother and her 3-year-old sister in critical condition — was charged with two counts of murder today by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.

The suspect, Carmelo Salas, 28, who fled the scene of the crash at 89th Avenue and D Street but was arrested later by Oakland police, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. If convicted he could face a prison sentence of 30 years to life, the district attorney’s office said.

Salas is charged with the murder of Jacqueline Munguia, 5, and her cousin, Stephanie Cervantes, who was planning her quinceanera, a 15th birthday celebration. She would have turned 15 on Dec. 18.

Salas is also charged with two counts of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, in the case of Jacqueline’s mother, Laura Herrera, 23, and Herrera’s daughter, Evalyn Munguia, 3.

Both were hospitalized in critical condition. The family members were on their way to a Thanksgiving dinner when their car was struck.

In addition, prosecutors charged Salas with kidnapping, for forcing his 17-year-old nephew to ride along with him in his Ford Expedition SUV minutes before the fatal crash. The big vehicle, driven by Salas at a speed estimated by witnesses in excess of 80 miles per hour, failed to stop at a stop sign and broadsided the Ford Mustang convertible driven by Herrera.

Assistant Alameda County District Attorney Norbert Chu said the nephew, whose name has not been released, told investigators he warned Salas that the Mustang was approaching. “He still kept speeding toward the intersection,” Chu said.

“A couple of things went into the filing of the murder charges,” Chu said. Authorities said while Salas was driving, he told his nephew he was not afraid to die and if he died he would take him with him. Also, the nephew warned him about the Mustang, he still kept speeding. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour; estimates have him going at least 80, Chu said.

“That satisfies the element of implied malice, necessary for the murder charges,” Chu said.

About the kidnapping, Chu said Salas forced the nephew to go with him. “The nephew was frightened for his own safety because he knew his uncle when drinking could become extremely volatile,” Chu said. “He was forced to go with him.”

The nephew returned to the scene of the 7:18 p.m. crash and helped police locate Salas.

A number of people struggled with Salas as he attempted to leave the scene and bystanders managed to get his jacket and his billfold, which contained Salas’ Mexican identification.

Oakland traffic officers today made an appeal to those good Samaritans to contact them. They consider them essential to the case and would like to talk to them, a detective said.

Police also discovered that Salas, who worked in San Lorenzo, was in the United States illegally from Mexico. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has placed a deportation hold on him.

Salas was in Alameda County Superior Court today on a previous spousal battery charge.

The felony counts filed today included “enhancements,” which would lengthen Salas’ sentence if he is convicted. They include “use of a deadly weapon, to wit: a car” to the two murder charges.

In the two charges of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, the district attorney filed two enhancement charges on each count. One is “causing great bodily injury” and the other is “use of a deadly weapon to cause great body injury.”

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BOONE, N.C. — An illegal immigrant is accused of driving drunk in Boone over the Thanksgiving holiday and plowing into a sport utility vehicle, killing a man inside.

Boone police said Juan Manuel Juarez Reyes slammed into the rear of a Lexus SUV that was about to turn from Highway 105 onto Poplar Hill Drive shortly before 11 p.m. Friday. The SUV was skidded 250 feet, hitting a Watauga County deputy?s patrol car. The occupants of the SUV were trapped inside their vehicle but the deputy was not hurt.

The driver, Sallie Ellis Newell, and passenger Jacqueline Elizabeth Newell were taken to the Watauga County Medical Center where they were treated in released. But Brian Alan Newell and Andrew Russell Newell, who was in the back passenger-side seat, were flown to Johnson City Regional Medical Center.

Andrew Newell, 22, died at the hospital. His father remains in critical condition.

Family members said the Newells were returning from a Thanksgiving trip to South Carolina and were only a quarter-mile from home.

Authorities said Monday that Juarez Reyes was caught in the country by Border Patrol agents in 2002 and was sent back to Mexico. They aren?t sure when he re-entered the United States.

Police say he was speeding and drunk when the crash happened.

Juarez Reyes is charged with driving while impaired, driving without a license and three counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury by vehicle.

He is being held under $75,000 bond and has asked for a court-appointed attorney. He?ll be back in court Jan. 14.

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Mercury News

The family of a Los Gatos woman whose legs were mangled this summer by an invader believed to be driving drunk is stepping up its campaign for stricter deportation rules, hoping to push lawmakers to close a little-known loophole that excludes DUIs.

Sara Cole’s family has met with a handful of lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell, since the Sept. 9 incident in which Lucio Rodriguez allegedly slammed into her while she was standing outside her sport-utility vehicle at a Little League event, nearly severing her legs. The mother of four is recovering from her injuries, but may never regain full use of her legs.

The case outraged her family after the Mercury News reported that Rodriguez - believed to be in the country illegally - had spent 10 days in a Santa Clara County jail in March on a misdemeanor drunken-driving count but had never been interviewed by immigration officials to begin deportation proceedings.

The story also shone a light on cracks in an immigration system that doesn’t always whisk illegal immigrants away after convictions, but instead bases its priorities on the seriousness of the charges against them.

Officials said one of the key problems is a lack of funds to hire more immigration agents to monitor all cases, resulting in agents focusing on serious felonies like murder and rape.

“Had he been deported, this wouldn’t have happened to Sarah,” longtime Cole family friend Dave Burt said of Rodriguez. Burt is helping head a movement with Cole’s ex-husband, Bill Cole, to change state law so drunken-driving charges are automatically flagged by immigration officers.

DUIs, most of which are misdemeanors, are not part of a little-known California health-and-safety law in which authorities alert immigration agents about inmates who could be in the country illegally. Charges involving marijuana and cocaine distribution, for example, result in alerts.

“We obviously have a broken system, and piece by piece, we need to fix it,” said Bill Cole, who remains amicable with his ex-wife. “We think DUIs are a significant enough offense that it should warrant deportation.”

The two are starting a non-profit to educate others about gaps in the immigration process, and they want to rally state legislators behind a movement for what they are calling Sara’s Law.

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“Very nice!”

KATU

HILLSBORO, Ore. - A college student from Washington County could be deported after trying to renew her driver’s license at a local DMV.

Alejandra Trujillo, 20, went to the Tanasbourne DMV office on Friday.

When a DMV worker asked her for identification, authorities say she handed over a fake Social Security card. The DMV worker called police and they arrested Trujillo.

Lt. Mike Rouches of the Hillsboro Police department said “at that point he [the officer] had probable cause to arrest her for the crime of criminal possession of a forged instrument.”

Wednesday evening, supporters of Trujillo picketed outside the Washington County jail where she was being held. They said it is not fair to deport her to a country she has not lived in since she was 8 years old.

Officers say Trujillo told them she did not remember where she got the card. She said that her parents had her real Social Security card and wouldn’t give it to her.

She also reportedly told police that they told her the Social Security number was valid.

Trujillo also reportedly told jail deputies she was born in Mexico.

Trujillo’s college counselor, Brenda Maldondo, said “There needs to be some kind of policy that helps these citizens achieve their own dreams and I think that it?s unjust that we don?t have that yet in place.”

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USA Today

MEXICO CITY ? The question of whether to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants has ignited a national debate in the United States.

Yet in Mexico, the biggest source of immigrants to the USA, there’s no debate: If you’re not in the country legally, you can’t get a driver’s license.

All of Mexico’s 31 states, along with the federal district of Mexico City, require foreigners to present a valid visa if they want a driver’s license, according to a survey of states by USA TODAY.

“When it comes to foreigners, we’re a little more strict here,” said Alejandro Ruíz, director of education at the Mexican Automobile Association.

The issue took the national spotlight after presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said a move by the New York governor to give licenses to illegal immigrants “makes a lot of sense” during a debate.

Proponents said the plan would have made the roads safer by ensuring that drivers are trained and insured, but the ensuing public outcry forced Gov. Eliot Spitzer to abandon the effort this week. U.S. Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., filed a bill Wednesday that would bar states from any future attempts to give licenses to illegal immigrants.

Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington allow drivers to get licenses without proving they are legal residents, according to the National Immigration Law Center. Most other states require applicants to prove they are citizens or legal residents.

In Mexico, by contrast, the policy is similar across the country and often strictly enforced.

“The fact that all 31 states in Mexico would have such a common-sense position ? shows to me a certain hypocrisy on the part of the Mexican government, because they are constantly criticizing those of us in Congress who want immigration laws to be tougher up here,” King said.

Licensing offices in all of Mexico’s 31 states, along with the Federal District, where Mexico City lies, said they require applicants to prove their citizenship, preferably by showing a voter registration card issued by the Federal Elections Institute.

(Foreign tourists who are in Mexico temporarily can drive using their foreign licenses, the states said. Most U.S. states have a similar exemption for visitors.)

Mexican officials said rules are strictly enforced, especially in southern states that have a problem with illegal immigrants from Central America.

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Oregon Live

Gov. Ted Kulongoski plans to issue an executive order today that he says would ‘dramatically tighten’ restrictions on Oregon driver’s licenses and make it far more difficult for illegal immigrants to get one.

Under Kulongoski’s order, which would be subject to approval by the Oregon Transportation Commission, licenses would be issued only to those who have valid Social Security numbers or who can prove they’re in the country legally. Driver and Motor Vehicle Services officials would be required to verify the Social Security numbers, which currently is done only for commercial drivers.

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Democratic Presidential Debate
11-16-07

MR. BLITZER: But — because this is the kind of question that is sort of available for a yes or no answer. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) Either you support it or you oppose it. Let’s go down and get a yes or no from everyone starting with Senator Edwards.

SEN. EDWARDS: Tell me again what your question is. (Laughter.)

MR. BLITZER: Do you support drivers licenses for illegal immigrants?

SEN. EDWARDS: If we don’t have –

MR. BLITZER: Assuming we don’t — in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform — doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon — do you support drivers licenses for illegal immigrants?

SEN. EDWARDS: No, but I don’t accept the proposition that we’re not going to have comprehensive immigration reform. What I do support — (scattered applause) — and what I will do as president of the United States is move this country toward comprehensive immigration reform –

MR. BLITZER: All right.

SEN. EDWARDS: — and anyone who’s on the path to earning American citizenship should be able to have a drivers license. (Scattered cheers, applause.)

MR. BLITZER: Senator Dodd.

SEN. DODD: Well, it’s important to put it in context. Obviously, look, clarity is important here. The American people in a debate like this want clarity here, and certainly the whole idea of getting immigration reform, something I strongly support — but I believe part of our job is to discourage those who want to come here. I understand why they want to come, but coming illegally creates serious problems, 4(00,000) to 500,000.

MR. BLITZER: So is that a yes or a no?

SEN. DODD: No
, my belief is that giving a driver’s — as I’ve said from the very beginning here, I think driver’s licenses are the wrong thing to be doing in terms of attracting people to come here as undocumented.

MR. BLITZER: All right. Thank you.

Senator Obama, yes or no?

SEN. OBAMA: Yes.

(Cross talk.)

MR. BLITZER: Okay. (Applause.)

SEN. OBAMA: I am going to be fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, and we shouldn’t pose the question that somehow we can’t achieve that. I believe that the American people desperately want it. That’s what I’m going to be fighting for as president.

MR. BLITZER: Senator Clinton?

SEN. CLINTON: No.

MR. BLITZER: Congressman Kucinich?

REP. KUCINICH: I take issue with your description of people being illegal immigrants. There aren’t any illegal human beings; that’s number one. Number two, they’re undocumented. And I believe that the best way to do it — (applause) — thank you — I believe the best way to deal with this is cancel NAFTA and renegotiate the trade agreement with Mexico. (Cheers, applause.)

Also –

MR. BLITZER: Well, let me rephrase the question, Congressman.

REP. KUCINICH: So the driver’s –

MR. BLITZER: If undocumented people in this country –

REP. KUCINICH: Give people — Wolf –

MR. BLITZER: — should be able to get driver’s licenses.

REP. KUCINICH: You give people a path to legalization, and then they can be legal and have their driver’s license. That’s the way to work it. That’s the way to work it.

MR. BLITZER: (Inaudible) — comprehensive immigration reform.

REP. KUCINICH: You know what? You give people a path to legalization, and you work to make sure that you don’t criminalize their status any further. And again, I take exception to the way you frame that question. (Applause.)

MR. BLITZER: Governor?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, my answer is yes, and I did it. You know why? Because the Congress — I notice Barack mentioned the president, but the Congress also failed miserably to pass comprehensive immigration. And we need to have it in this country.

I did it four years ago. My legislature sent me a bill. I signed it. My law enforcement people said it’s a matter of public safety. What we need is public safety, a reduction in traffic fatalities. We wanted more people to be insured. When we started with this program, 33 percent of all New Mexicans had — were uninsured. Today it’s 11 percent. Traffic fatalities have gone down. It’s a matter of public safety.

MR. BLITZER: All right.

GOV. RICHARDSON: The states have to act when the federal government and the Congress doesn’t act. The answer is comprehensive immigration. (Cheers, applause.) The answer is –

MR. BLITZER: Your answer is yes.

GOV. RICHARDSON: — secure the borders, a stronger relationship with Mexico. Those that knowingly hire illegal workers should be punished, and a path to legalization. That is the solution.

MR. BLITZER: Senator Biden.

SEN. BIDEN: No. (Laughter, applause.)

Presidential Debate transcript click here.

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Flip flopping, dodging, and waffling her way to the nomination. GuardDog

Hillary pulls her own U-turn on license plan
News Day
November 14, 2007

WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton executed a stunning U-turn on Eliot Spitzer’s illegal immigrant driver’s license plan on the eve of Thursday night’s debate in Las Vegas — saying she now opposes the plan she supported just a week ago.

“As President, I will not support drivers’ licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform,” she said in a statement hours after Spitzer abandoned his widely-hated proposal.

But Wednesday, her top spokesman hinted she was ready to use the issue against Barack Obama, who still backs Spitzer’s overwhelmingly unpopular effort.

“Look, Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama have a clear disagreement on the issue,” communications chief Howard Wolfson told Newsday Wednesday night. “She wouldn’t give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and he would.”

Aides to Clinton and Spitzer claimed the senator didn’t directly pressure the governor to drop the plan. But Clinton had plenty of proxies pleading on her behalf, including Queens Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Elmhurst), a major Clinton supporter, according to congressional sources.

In early November, Clinton aides said she backed the basic concept of granting licenses to illegal immigrants in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. She skidded when questioned on the issue during an Oct. 30 debate, seeming to both support and oppose Spitzer’s plan in consecutive answers……

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Newsday.com

WASHINGTON - New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has decided to abandon his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, officials familiar with the decision told The Associated Press Tuesday night.

The governor is due to meet Wednesday morning with New York’s congressional delegation, many of whom have openly opposed the program. Debate over the issue has spilled over into the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The governor’s office signaled to New York lawmakers Tuesday that the morning of the meeting, he will say he is shelving the plan and that immigration is a federal issue to be handled by Washington, according to congressional aides who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made.

Read more.

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21 year-old Avenamar Perez is charged in a hit and run
accident that put MPD Lt. Greg Quinn in the hospital

MyEyeWitnessNews

21 year-old Avenamar Perez is charged in a hit and run accident that put MPD Lt. Greg Quinn in the hospital earlier this week.

Perez is accused of hitting Lt. Quinn’s motorcycle from behind then leaving the scene. Witnesses followed Perez and called in his location to investigators.

But hours after his arrest, Perez bonded out of jail for only $100. A spokesperson for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office says the bond is standard for the crimes Perez is accused of committing.

He’s charged with having an unregistered vehicle, disregarding a red light, no driver’s license and leaving the scene of an accident with injury. All of those are misdemeanor crimes which carry a low bond, according to the D.A.’s communications director.

“Based on the Memphis Police investigation,” says Jennifer Donnals, “these are the charges filed against him. And we don’t expect any additional charges against Perez.”

After he failed to show for a Friday morning court appearance, Perez was arrested and brought back to the Criminal Justice Center.

And now his residency status is being questioned. Steve Shular with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says Perez told jail employees he is a Mexican citizen.

Shular says the sheriff’s office called officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate. Agents are expected to interview Perez at the jail. His new bond is $1500.

A spokesperson for the federal immigration agency says if Perez is an illegal immigrant, he’ll have to face the hit and run charges in Shelby County court and if found guilty, he’ll have to receive his punishment before he is deported back to Mexico.

But if he raises the money for his bond before then, he can get out of jail, again.

“Even people who are here illegally,” says Donnals, “have the right to a bond if they’re charged with a crime.”

Lt. Greg Quinn, the MPD officer who was injured in the hit and run, is out of the hospital and back at home.

When asked for his thoughts about the low bond for the man accused of slamming into him, Lt. Quinn said he’s going to let the legal system handle this case so he can focus on his recovery.

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“Sometimes you put out an idea and there isn’t so much support, and you try to persuade people and you see where you go,” Spitzer said. “This is the way the world works.”
Gov. Eliot Spitzer

Spitzer open to tossing license plan
Governor says he’s staying the course for now, but has softened his stance
Albany Times Union
November 11, 2007

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Reeling from relentless criticism of his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Gov. Eliot Spitzer has taken a step back, raising the possibility he may shelve the idea.

The governor’s aides have grown increasingly concerned that reaction to the plan is preventing Spitzer from or even discussing other issues; it has also become an issue for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign and has caused anxiety among other Democrats.

After a meeting Friday with Hispanic lawmakers at a conference here, Spitzer was not displaying the defiance with which he had defended the plan in the past. Asked by a reporter if he would change or table the plan, the governor said he was sticking with it “as of now,” but suggested that he was open to abandoning it.

“Sometimes you put out an idea and there isn’t so much support, and you try to persuade people and you see where you go,” Spitzer said. “This is the way the world works.”

He added: “I don’t think there’s ever been an executive, a president, a governor who hasn’t put out ideas, that at the end of the day there isn’t support, and so things don’t work out, but as of now, sure, I think this is the right idea from a security perspective. We’ll wait and see.”

If Spitzer were to withdraw the policy, there would probably be great relief among the many Democrats who have become entangled in the issue, whether they support the plan or not.

The reaction to the plan has far exceeded what the governor or his staff expected, and Democratic incumbents in Congress and the state Senate fear it has given Republicans an issue to use against them next year. It has also earned Spitzer the animosity of groups pushing for stricter controls on immigration and inspired Lou Dobbs, the CNN anchor, to lead a nightly crusade against the policy…….

To read entire article click here.

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WSJ by John Fund

Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked during a debate this week if she supported New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. At first she seemed to endorse the idea, then claimed, “I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it.”

The next day she took a firmer stand (sort of) by offering general support for Gov. Spitzer’s approach, but adding that she hadn’t studied his specific plan. She should, and so should the rest of us. It stops just short of being an engraved invitation for people to commit voter fraud.

The background here is the National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as “Motor Voter,” that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It required all states to offer voter registration to anyone getting a driver’s license. One simply fills out a form and checks a box stating he is a citizen; he is then registered and in most states does not have to show any ID to vote.

But no one checks if the person registering to vote is indeed a citizen. That greatly concerns New York election officials, who processed 245,000 voter registrations at DMV offices last year. “It would be [tough to catch] if someone wanted to . . . get a number of people registered who aren’t citizens and went ahead and got them drivers’ licenses,” says Lee Daghlian, spokesman for New York’s Board of Elections. Assemblywoman Ginny Fields, a Long Island Democrat, warns that the state’s “Board of Elections has no voter police” and that the state probably has upwards of 500,000 illegal immigrants old enough to drive.

The potential for fraud is not trivial, as federal privacy laws prevent cross-checking voter registration rolls with immigration records. Nevertheless, a 1997 Congressional investigation found that “4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in [a] disputed House election” in California. After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote.

Under pressure from liberal groups, some states have even abandoned the requirement that people check a citizenship box to be put on the voter rolls. Iowa has told local registrars they should register people even if they leave the citizenship box blank. Maryland officials wave illegal immigrants through the registration process, prompting a Justice Department letter warning they may be helping people violate federal law.

Gov. Spitzer is treading perilously close to that. Despite a tactical retreat this week–he says he will only give illegal immigrants a license that isn’t valid for airplane travel and entering federal buildings–Mr. Spitzer has taken active steps to obliterate any distinctions between licenses given to citizens and non-citizens.

In a memo last Sept. 24, he ordered county clerks to remove the visa expiration date and “temporary visitor” stamp on licenses issued to non-citizens who are legally in the country. A Spitzer spokeswoman explained the change was made because the “temporary” label was “pejorative,” given that some visitors might eventually stay in the U.S. Under fire, Mr. Spitzer backed down this week, delaying the cancellation of the “temporary visitor” stamps through the end of next year.

But he has not retreated from another new bizarre policy. It used to be that county clerks who process driver’s licenses were banned from giving out voter registration forms to anyone without a Social Security number. No longer. Lou Dobbs of CNN reported that an Oct. 19 memo from the state DMV informed the clerks they don’t “have any statutory discretion to withhold a motor voter form.” What’s more, the computer block preventing a DMV clerk from transmitting a motor voter registration without a Social Security number was removed.

Gov. Spitzer’s office told me the courts have upheld their position on Social Security numbers. Sandy DePerno, the Democratic clerk of Oneida County, says that makes no sense. “This makes voter fraud easier,” she told me.

While states such as New York are increasing the risk of such fraud, a half-dozen states have recently adopted laws requiring voters to offer proof of identity or citizenship before casting a ballot. A federal commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, gave such laws a big boost in 2005 when it called for a nationwide policy requiring a photo ID before voting.

Mr. Carter has personal knowledge of why such laws are needed. He recounts in his book “Turning Point” how his 1962 race for Georgia State Senate involved a local sheriff who had cast votes for the dead. It took a recount and court challenge before Mr. Carter was declared the winner.

Measures that curb voter fraud on the one hand and encourage it on the other will be central to the 2008 election. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of Indiana’s photo ID law next spring, while lawsuits challenging Gov. Spitzer’s moves will be in New York state courts.

Despite her muddled comments this week, there’s no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration–easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that Mrs. Clinton is such a polarizing figure that she attracts between 46% and 49% support no matter which Republican candidate she’s pitted against–even libertarian Ron Paul. She knows she may have trouble winning next year. Maybe that’s why she’s thrown herself in with those who will look the other way as a new electoral majority is formed–even if that includes non-citizens, felons and those who suddenly cross a state line on Election Day and decide they want to vote someplace new.
——–
Mr. Fund, a columnist for OpinionJournal.com, is author of a forthcoming revised edition of “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.” (Encounter).

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