Letter: Privileges are not for those here illegally

June 6, 2019 at 4:54 a.m.

I would like to address the letter thread that was started in the opinion section of your May 17 issue. This thread was kicked off by a letter from a Mr. Mike Tee of Port Chester, objecting to giving driving licenses to illegal aliens. Subsequent letters in response to his letter went down the highway with accusations of racism, bigotry, xenophobia, etc., etc. Additionally, our local Westchester County Legislator Nancy Barr chimed in with her own accusations of racism and discrimination, as to be expected from one of her political bent.

I don’t know Mr. Tee from a hole in the wall, so I wouldn’t ascribe his motivations for writing the letter. Is he a racist? Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, I don’t know, and presumably the people who responded (including the 27 people who penned a nonsensical diatribe about the Statue of Liberty, Colossus of Rhodes, etc.) in their letters don’t know him either, but that didn’t stop them from casting aspersions. What I do know is that not one of them who responded addressed the primary reason for him writing the letter...that being giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, and his objection thereof. Instead, they took the low road of throwing the “racist card” instead of refuting his argument with logical reasoning.

I also object to this (giving illegals driver’s licenses), and my reason is simple...we are rewarding people whose first act in our country was breaking our Federal immigration laws. Now we are going to award them with the “privilege” (and, yes, it is a privilege, as we are often told) of legally driving an automobile? What’s next, giving them the right to vote in our elections? They don’t belong here and are a slap in the face to those immigrants who come here legally and follow our laws (and yes, I do differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants).

When I first moved to Westchester County from Upstate New York in 1999, my auto insurance basically doubled. When I inquired with my insurance company why this was, I was told that Westchester has a high proportion of illegal aliens who are driving, with neither insurance nor driver’s licenses. As a result, any accident claims end up being born by the responsible, insured driver’s insurance company. They had statistics to back this up. Sure enough, several years later, I was rear-ended on the Cross Westchester Parkway by a young man who didn’t speak English. The damage was minimal, and I didn’t bother calling the police and we just exchanged information. He presented me with what turned out to be his brother’s license and forged insurance documents. My insurance company filled me in later that the whole thing was bogus and that they would end up covering my damage. They also informed me that, going forward, any accident, no matter how minor, I should always call the police and let them verify the validity of the documents being presented. Presumably, this young man was not supposed to be here, and that was his reason for providing bogus documentation. We are now expecting these people who are not here legally to suddenly start following the law when it comes to driving and insurance?

So, let me reiterate my position on this matter. If you are here illegally, you don’t deserve the privileges of citizens or legal immigrants, and that includes having a driver’s license. This has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. I don’t care if you’re from South America, Europe, or the North Pole...if you’re here illegally, you deserve none of the privileges that are afforded to people who are supposed to be here. Period!

Jim Black

Port Chester


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