August 27, 2004

Editorial:

Non-Citizen Drivers License Bill Avoids Confronting Real Problem

Though State Senator Gilbert A. Cedillo means well in attempting to have his SB 1160 passed, which on the surface would authorize the State to issue a California Drivers license to undocumented workers, La Prensa San Diego must disagree with the premise of the bill. The problem of the undocumented workers has been with us since the original “Braceros” were induced to illegally cross the U.S./Mexican Border to provide a source of cheap labor for the Agriculture sector. Primary and secondary industries took note of the financial growth of the Agricultural segment of our society and joined to exploit a cheap source of labor. The exploitation of the workers from Mexico and other Latin American countries disturbed the native born Mexican American citizens and they joined in the struggle to have America stop the near enslavement of the Mexican/Latino workers.

In their eagerness to continue the exploitation of the immigrant workers, the Civil and Police Forces of the nation, extended their persecution to United States Citizens who were legal residents by reason of birth, many since the founding of this nation. The United States was their country and they came under the protection of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all other laws, which applied, to all other citizens by reason of birth or legal immigration. Unfortunately for the law enforcement i.e. INS, police and other legal agencies of control, it was impossible to determine citizenship by sight. This brought about the persecution of American citizens only because they happen to have a brown skin! And this brought about a period of time during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s of serious confrontations between Non-Anglo and the so called minority races who had every Right and Protections afforded by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

This brings the Editors of La Prensa San Diego to it’s position that the Cedillo Bill SB1160 will not serve any real purpose as it doesn’t address the fundamental problem underlying the exploitation of non-U.S. workers. The United States Government has to date, never joined in an international dialogue with foreign governments to establish the rules and regulations that will permit foreign workers to enter this country to work. Ministerial meetings, possibly by the State Department, would establish the rules and procedures not only of the receiving country but also of the sending country.

We don’t have an Immigration problem what we have is a labor issue with other foreign countries.

The Cedillo solution SB1160 would only intensify the response by the authorities. Every car, truck, motorcycle, with a brown color person driving would become targets for future police harassment. We had the same problem in the 70’s. All Mexican looking folks will be pulled over and will be forced to prove their identity. The confrontations will increase, as “racial profiling” will be based on the color of our skin! No papers? Sorry! All procedures for proving the validity of your Drivers license will be required by ALL MEXICAN-LOOKING DRIVERS.

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage