New York’s new law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses is part of a dangerous trend of lawmakers putting the interests of illegal immigrants over the safety and welfare of American citizens.
Thanks to so-called Green Light Laws, illegal immigrants can already obtain licenses in 13 states, as well as Washington, D.C., according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more states are jumping on the bandwagon.
These policies don't just help incentivize more illegal immigration — they risk creating more Angel Families like mine. Unfortunately, Democrats are becoming bolder about pushing such reckless policies, even introducing legislation in conservative states such as Texas. We can’t just resist this trend; we have to reverse it.
My life was changed forever on May 12, 2014, when an illegal immigrant killed my son, Mesa police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza in Arizona. Since that fateful night, I have committed my life to making sure that nobody goes through the pain and suffering my family — like other Angel Families — has had to endure. This is a danger American families should not be have to be exposed to.
Dangerous new laws
President Donald Trump has made tremendous progress, but Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country are doing everything they can to obstruct his border security agenda, stymie enforcement of federal immigration laws and create incentives for even more people to enter our country illegally.
Running away all your life takes a toll:For undocumented immigrants, our enforcement policies drive a public mental health crisis
After New York implemented a law signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo that allows illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses last month, Department of Motor Vehicles offices were flooded with applicants on the first day, turning an already tedious experience into an hours-long ordeal.
That same Dec. 16, across the Hudson River, the New Jersey Legislature voted to enact its own Green Light Law that not only grants illegal immigrants access to state identification, but might also enable them to vote, since New Jersey automatically registers people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license.
My son was killed on his way home from work by an illegal immigrant driver whose blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit. The driver, who was also high on methamphetamine, sped down the highway in the wrong direction before crashing into my son’s car. He had multiple criminal convictions during his 20 years living illegally in America.
Mary Ann Mendoza and her son, Brandon Mendoza, in Hawaii in September 2013.
Now that New York has also implemented its misguided bail reform law, illegal immigrants who commit supposedly “nonviolent” crimes will find it even easier to escape incarceration and avoid facing justice than they did before.
There are real dangers associated with allowing people who have already demonstrated a willingness to violate our laws to enjoy driving privileges and obtain government identification — and they go far beyond road safety.
Giving illegal immigrants access to services ordinarily reserved for American citizens and legal residents not only increases the burden on taxpayers, it can also incentivize further illegal immigration, creating a self-reinforcing cycle of dependency.
Challenges to Trump's reforms
The Trump administration has worked to reduce those incentives at the federal level by authorizing more resources for immigration enforcement, building or planning to build hundreds of miles of border wall, and closing legal loopholes in our asylum policies that had been exploited.
Those efforts are paying off: The number of immigrants apprehended after attempting to enter illegally last month was only a third of those who were apprehended last spring.
Unfortunately, liberal lawmakers are just as determined to undermine the president’s agenda by hampering enforcement of federal immigration law.
Ring of truth:Do Democrats believe in open borders? By not enforcing immigration law, it looks that way.
Just recently, Washington state filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the practice of arresting illegal immigrants at state courthouses. Massachusetts had already filed a similar suit, resulting in a preliminary court order blocking federal law enforcement from arresting illegal immigrants at courthouses, though that ruling is being appealed.
The so-called sanctuary movement is an extension of the same warped mentality — prioritizing the convenience of illegal immigrants over the safety of American citizens — that led directly to my son’s death. The illegal immigrant who killed Brandon was arrested in 1994 on burglary and assault charges and was convicted of a conspiracy to commit burglary, but he skipped out on his court date. Even though he was a fugitive from justice, he was let back onto the streets in 2002 after he was apprehended and offered a plea deal.
Such leniency toward law breakers is not a form of compassion — quite the opposite. It’s a direct assault on the rule of law that puts innocent people at risk in order to protect violent criminals. Granting illegal immigrants access to government services and privileges such as driver’s licenses only exacerbates the problem
The outcome of these policies is as tragic as it is predictable. Democrats’ open-borders agenda will lead to more illegal immigrants, more crime — and more Angel Families.
Mary Ann Mendoza, an Angel Mom from Arizona, is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President Inc. advisory board. Follow her on Twitter @mamendoza480