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Licensed Drivers Make Streets Safer

November 24, 2003

Abraham D. Sofaer's argument ("Licenses Cross the Line," Commentary, Nov. 20) against driver's licenses to the undocumented is a lot of baloney. I have been licensed to drive in California for 38 years. In all of my dealings with the DMV I have never once been asked for proof of my U.S. citizenship or proof that I am in California legally. The information on my driver's license (name, address, height, weight, birth date, etc.) is information I provided to the DMV, and information that has never been verified by the DMV. For the record, I actually lied about my weight.

What did the DMV verify before it issued a driver's license to me? Three things: that I had a knowledge of the California Vehicle Code; that I could drive consistently with those rules; and that I could see well enough to drive. I really don't care if a person is a foreign national, or is in the U.S. legally or illegally. What I care about is that if people are driving on California streets, roads and freeways the DMV has verified that they have some knowledge of the rules of the road; that they observe those rules while driving; and that they can see well enough to drive.

Jay Stevens

Long Beach

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To people who are worried about letting illegal immigrants get a driver's licenses: I would be more concerned about whom I am sharing the road with. In the last five years there have been five accidents in my family, none our fault but all of them with people who didn't have a license or insurance. Two were hit-and-runs. Who pays for my losses and my deductible? The government has an obligation to protect its citizens.

If you worry that a terrorist might get a license, don't: A terrorist can buy a license. Next time you think about SB 60, think about who does your lawn, who cleans your house, who picks the fruit and vegetables on your table and who takes jobs that nobody else wants. Let's be realistic. These people are here and they are not going anywhere. SB 60 is about drivers' safety.

Javier Madrid

South Gate

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