November 21, 2003


More Security Than an M-16

Denying driver’s license to undocumented human beings

By Ralph de Unamuno

There is such big right-wing uproar over California’s decision to let undocumented human beings obtain driver’s licenses that you would think that Osama is getting a new outfit ready for his driver’s license picture!

They (there is a “they” and we know who “they” are) now say it is certain a proposition banning the new law will be ready by March. It is so ironic that the Federal Government will train an undocumented human being from any part of Latin American to operate millions of dollars in military equipment, weaponry, and disclose strategic plans for attacking those so called “Axis of Evil countries”, yet it is a threat to “homeland-uber alles security” to allow these same people to legally drive a car!

Many columnists have pointed to the Pentagon’s initiatives that target Chicana/o and Latina/o youth for the military. Indeed, the first five people to die in the invasion of Iraq from California were Raza, many of whom were not citizens. On any given day in any barrio or colonia high school, there will be more military recruiters than college recruiters. Why? Is it that we value warfare over education? No, it depends on your area code, not your capacity — this is what determines your access to a quality public education, and access to higher education.

The current uproar over California’s recent decision is no different than the hysteria that sets in when Homeland Security tells the Beltway to buy duct tape and plastic!

The right-wing and the so-called homeland security do these things so that members of dominant society will consent to the administration, so they won’t be upset with the administration around election time, and so that other people’s children will do the job on the front lines that only the AM talk radio wackos demand!

This is not to say that “they” try and ease the fear of the beltway — just the opposite. The maintenance of a culture of fear will let the government get away with a lot! The right-wing has made sure that your average US citizens will keep the taste of blood in their mouths to finish off the job of Bush’s Middle East empire. Don’t think so? What about TIPS, TIA, and PATRIOT ACT 1 and 2, or like the way the Transportation Safety Administration fired all the non-citizens, many of whom where Pilipinos in California. For those of you who fly you may have noticed that in their places they hired mostly Anglos (this was probably to delay the affect of angry unemployed white people when Bush goes for re-election).

Yet, with an ironic twist of fate, those same non-citizens could have left the airport, gone and joined the National Guard, and been in that same Airport six weeks later patrolling with an M-16. Legally!

Here’s the dilio yo’: The right-wing’s protest of the new driver’s license law stems from the same stream of hatred and xenophobia as the opposition to recognize Consulta Matriculares. This is not an issue about security, it is about economics. If undocumented human beings are allowed to have official IDs like Driver’s Licenses and Consulta Matriculares, they will be able to open bank accounts and get credit cards.

No longer will undocumented human beings have to depend on predatory lenders like check cashing centers to cash checks, which extract high cashing fees, and whom also charge high fees for money orders. These compañera/os can then save money — with interest in a savings account instead of having a lot of cash around — or they might even invest. They may then be able to get credit cards to establish credit, and should there be an Amnesty program, their economic history could be proof of being in the country.

Here is an informative website by SAJE of Los Angeles that explains the advantages of having a bank account over depending on predatory lenders, of the check cashing store type, and the benefits of a bank account. English or Spanish:

If undocumented human beings in the US gain the use of these forms of identifications for banking and other lending institutions, they will not be the permanent underclass the right-wing seeks to maintain. This is the reason: working class members of the dominant society need to be either distracted, and/or they actively want an underclass in order to rationalize their turning a blind-eye from societies’ exploitation at the hands of Multinational Corporation and/or the Corporatists, those of the working-class that support social and economic policies that helps the ruling class/ transnational corporations, also called the system of white privilege. These people are most commonly known as Republicans.

Racism is the fuel that the GOP uses to recruit the white working class to adopt the values of the Transnationals as their own, but the fire is meant to burn everyone!

Resist and fight the resurgence of Xenophobia and immigrant bashing in California. It won’t go away if you close your eyes.

If you tried this approach in 1994 during Prop. 187, guess what: The hate is back!

Reprinted from

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