The Tar Pit

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Will Schwarzenegger resist Hollywood's illegal alien drivers license campaign?

Lonewacko and Michelle Malkin are on top of a campaign by Hollywood stars to pressure California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign legislation that would give California Drivers Licenses to their illegal alien help:

Mike Farrell, actor & political activist: "The fact is these non-citizens are in our homes. They're our friends. They are working in the most intimate circumstances of our lives. And they are being disadvantaged by not having drivers licenses."

The campaign is being orchestrated by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, who claims that Schwarzenegger broke faith with him by failing to honor a promise to sign compromise legislation giving the licenses to illegals:

The growing criticism over face-to-face deal-making with Schwarzenegger comes after what state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, says was Schwarzenegger's broken promise to him last year over legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to get California drivers' licenses.

Two weeks after Schwarzenegger's inauguration, at the governor's urging, Cedillo led a legislative move to repeal his drivers' license bill passed and signed into law a year earlier by former Gov. Gray Davis.

Cedillo did that, he said, because he met with Schwarzenegger in Santa Monica before the Legislature's repeal and Schwarzenegger promised to back a revised bill that met some of the governor's concerns about security and insurance. Cedillo said he asked Schwarzenegger if he should put their agreement in writing.

"He shook my hand, he looked me in the eye, and said, 'No. I give you my word. It's fine. I keep it,'" recalled Cedillo, a former labor negotiator.

Cedillo said he lost respect for Schwarzenegger when he failed to back his bill at crunch time in the Legislature, and that he no longer trusts him. And he said he feels even more betrayed in the exchange because he campaigned for several Schwarzenegger initiatives, including his $15 billion deficit-reduction bond, as a show of good faith.

However, those who believe that Schwarzenegger would never sign a bill granting CDLs to illegals should be aware that he has never categorically promised he wouldn't. During the California Recall Campaign, Schwarzenegger spok numerous times of his desire to give drivers licenses to illegals under the right circumstances:

"Proposition 187 has been resolved by the courts. It is time to move on. More than 2.3 million undocumented immigrants currently live in California. They cannot continue to live underground. I will work with federal officials to address this problem."
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Immigration
Source: Campaign website, Aug 29, 2003

Said Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that denied many services to illegal immigrants, was "history" because it has been largely voided by the courts. He supported the proposition at the time voters approved it. "Now we have to move forward with the whole thing and to look at it, what we're going to do with all the people that are undocumented immigrants here in this state. What should we do? Should we have them to stay here, which I think is the right way to do, but how do you then include them in our society, how do you make it official, how do you make it legal?" he said. He added he would try to team up with other states with large immigrant populations and lobby the federal government to address the issue.
KABC 7 Google Cache -August 27, 2003

Schwarzenegger, who legally immigrated to this country from Austria in 1968, opposed issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. But he didn't rule out public services or amnesty for those who come into the country illegally.

He said he would work with other states to pressure the federal government, which controls immigration, to "come up with a solution once and for all." He also said allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States is "the right thing to do."
Sacramento Bee - August 28th, 2003

Schwarzenegger criticized Davis for signing a bill granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, saying, "We're leaving ourselves wide open to terrorism." And he repeated his support for a guest-worker visa program -- "then they can (get) drivers licenses hooked together with insurance."
Sacramento Bee - September 9th, 2003

Schwarzenegger said he opposed the bill because it would "bring danger to our state" because it doesn't require background checks of illegal immigrants.

He did, however, say he supported proposed federal legislation that would help those in the United States illegally become legal residents more quickly.
Sacramento Bee - September 17th, 2003

From the start Governor Schwarzenegger was posing as though he was unequivocally opposed to California Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens, even as he cast about rhetorically for ways to reward illegals with licenses that would be acceptable to the public.

When Scharzenegger vetoed AB 2895, yet another CDLs for illegals bill last September, he said:

"One of the most important duties of the governor of a state is to protect its citizens," Schwarzenegger said. "This bill does not adequately address the security concerns that my Department of Homeland Security and I have, and I cannot support it."

At first read, that's fairly forceful but one wonders why the Governor just doesn't draw the line and say "illegals will get drivers licenses over my daed body."

Does it sound like Schwarzenegger might actually be an Open Borders Republican?

Judge for yourself:

  • Deportation is not an option. We need to find a way to legitimize these individuals and get them on a path toward legal residency status in the United States.
  • Let me be clear: I do not support an amnesty program. The last time we tried that in the late 80s it didn't work, and there's little reason to think it would work now.

  • I am encouraged by the approach laid out by Senator McCain to provide a clear path for legitimizing undocumented immigrants who currently live their lives in the shadows. McCain's bill S 1461 - The Border Security and Immigration Act of 2003
    • A new H-4A visa for immigrants seeking temporary employment with important protections to ensure that immigrant workers are not exploited and that Californians are not displaced by unscrupulous employers;

    • A new H-4B visa for undocumented immigrants who entered the country before August 2003, have held a job since that time, and do not have a criminal record.

    • The opportunity for holders of these new visas to gain legal permanent residency status.
  • " Senator McCain's plan contains the key principles that should guide any proposal to solve the immigration impasse:

Transcribed from Schwarzenegger's campaign website

That's right, Governor Schwarzenegger is another one of those "compassionate" Republicans who supposedly opposes Amnesty, yet wants to legalize millions of illegal aliens.