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Illegal alien drivers license, ID reform is overdue

Many readers will be surprised to know that Georgia issues drivers licenses to non-citizens who, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, do not have legal immigration status. There is no difference in the driver/ID credentials issued to these lucky illegal aliens and those issued to legal immigrants (green card holders).

While it is illegal for non-citizens to vote in elections in Georgia, state law considers the drivers licenses and ID Cards we grant to non-citizens to be “proper ID” at our polls.

These drivers’ licenses and state ID credentials are used as valid ID to enter federal buildings and airports because, in 21st century America, the drivers license is our de facto national ID card. Some of the illegal aliens who have been granted these very beneficial credentials are already under deportation orders. Many others have been granted a deferral on deportation proceedings — most of them by the Obama administration.

I will soon introduce drivers license/ID reform legislation to change this needless security risk. It is important to understand that states have full control and authority over how and to whom they issue drivers licenses and official ID Cards. Illegal alien drivers license, ID credential reform should not be put off any longer. Federal law (REAL ID Act of 2005) says that illegal aliens who have a delay or deferral on deportation can use that temporary condition as “evidence of lawful status” and may be granted credentials that are accepted as federal ID. It is important to understand that the law does not require any state — including Georgia — to do this.

Other states, including Michigan, South Carolina, California and Massachusetts issue drivers licenses that are not REAL ID Act compliant    along with the compliant documents.

The large majority of Georgians do not want any illegal aliens to receive any type of official state ID or drivers license, it is my goal to create state law that will require DDS to change the design of both the drivers license and ID card we now distribute to non-citizens who the USCIS says lack legal status. The changes my legislation will propose include:

Vertically orient the credentials issued to non-citizens who lack legal status according to the USCIS. We already do this for Americans who are under the age of 21.

Make the credentials issued to these individuals a different design and color from any other credential issued by DDS.

Clearly mark “NOT FOR FEDERAL USE” on the document.

Clarify state law on proper ID at Georgia polls. 

We should use this important federal information for the security of our state ID credentials.

Jeff Jones represents Georgia’s district 167 in the state house