Osama bin Laden and his buddies shouldn’t have a right to Alaska driver’s licenses. That’s why I sponsored HB 3, a bill requiring legal presence in the United States and, by extension, legal presence in the State of Alaska for an Alaska driver’s license. With my bill, everyone in Alaska can get an Alaska driver’s license or ID Card, except illegal aliens. That’s my bill in a nutshell. We welcome legal visitors to Alaska, and the more the better. Visitors will have driving privileges so long as they are here legally.
Want a driver’s license in Mexico? Prove you entered their sovereign nation legally and have an official immigration document. No proof of legal presence in Mexico? No Mexican driver's license. Wow – what a concept! Want a driver’s license in the Yukon? You’ll need Canadian citizenship or an unexpired passport. The same common sense should apply in Alaska.
Predictably, my bill is opposed by the ACLU and their fellow travelers. Perhaps that’s something of a recommendation. Unfortunately, the ACLU and a radio talk show are propagandizing and inciting controversy aimed at linking my state bill to the federal “Real ID Act” – which (surprise, surprise) the ACLU and the radio show also oppose. In fact, the talk show host attempted to ambush me by phoning my capitol office on live radio and asking to speak to me as the “sponsor” of the “Real ID Act”! Reality check: state legislators don’t sponsor federal legislation.
The same radio show is encouraging “psycho-ceramic” (crackpot) calls in an attempt to use my state driver’s license legislation as a vehicle to attack the federal legislation. They allege everything from radio chips inserted under the skin, the “mark of the beast,” to registration of firearms (especially offensive to me as an NRA member), and more. A slick web site has been posted showing a phony-baloney Alaska driver’s license with the governor’s smiling face on it - with her religion, and firearms registration number! It’s a classic example of repeating a lie often enough for everyone to believe it. This stuff is an insult to intelligent commonsense Alaskans. Enough already.
Here’s another reality check. I sponsored HB40 in 2003, almost identical to my current HB3 driver’s license bill. That’s two years before the federal Real ID Act became law. My state bill can and should be judged on its own merits, whatever one’s position on the federal Real ID Act.
Some say illegal aliens will continue driving with or without an Alaska license. Probably. But some folks will continue committing burglary and homicide, regardless of the law – but we still have laws against burglary and homicide, and for good reason. Because someone violates a law, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a law. Others say illegal aliens will be safer drivers if they pass a driver’s license tests. So what? Illegals shouldn’t be driving in Alaska in the first place.
The DMV is not the INS. Granted. But the DMV does have the right to determine if an applicant has the necessary documents needed for a license. It’s done every day. HB3 simply adds verification of the applicant having legal presence in our state. If a person doesn’t have a right to be in Alaska, because they don’t have legal presence, how could they logically have a legal right to have a license to be on our highways - where they shouldn’t be in the first place? This isn’t rocket science.
I value my privacy, just like other Alaskans. I also value common sense and the right of the State of Alaska to decide who does and who does not qualify for an Alaska driver’s license. Alaska is a sovereign state in a sovereign nation, and we should act like one by passing HB3.
NOTE: My bill on restricting Alaska Driver’s licenses and Identification Cards, HB3 moved out of our House State Affairs Committee last Tuesday with a party line 5 Republican 2 Democratic vote. The next committee of referral is Judiciary.