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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

A Court Visit Clarifies Driver's License Issue

June 29, 2004

Your June 25 editorial "A Road to Greater Safety" makes a lot of sense. I had never thought much about the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants until I had to appear in court to pay a fine; the majority of the cases coming before the judge were illegal immigrants who had been ticketed for driving without a license. The fine they had to pay staggered me: $850. Knowing the kinds of wages paid to undocumented workers, I knew how long it would take to pay off that fine. The judge did allow them to set up a payment plan, but I was moved by the plight of people barely making subsistence wages having to absorb that additional expense. The irony was that if they could not get to work by bus, they would have to drive there.

Moreover, many middle-class and upper-class Angelenos employ undocumented workers to clean their houses, mow their lawns and care for their children. If they are going to employ undocumented workers, then they should give them driver's licenses so they can get to work.

I challenge every employer of undocumented workers to urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to support SB 1160.

Deanna Davis

Valencia

I was pleased to see The Times editorialize for the illegal alien driver's license bill. Now the governor has yet another reason to veto the bill. That it is overwhelmingly contrary to the public interest, and overwhelmingly unpopular among the voting public, already constitutes some excellent reasons to veto the bill.

But to have the bill endorsed by the newspaper that went the extra mile to try to derail his election, that should be the final nail in its coffin.

Lance B. Sjogren

San Pedro

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