Ariz. lets interpreters help with written test"

Hi Gang:
Today’s commentary was prompted by an article that appeared yesterday, Saturday, September 24th, in The Arizona Republic that delved into a serious vulnerability to national security and public safety from a couple of significant perspectives- the fact that the state of Arizona has made it easy for individuals including aliens, to receive driver’s licenses by gaming the system.
First of all, driving is a privilege and it is imperative that there be a means of determining that those who are licensed to drive a motor vehicle meet minimum standards.  This is a matter of commonsense and public safety.  All too often we find ourselves sharing the road with drivers who display such a lack of skill and commonsense that we want to ask them, “Where did you get your driver’s license, in a box of cereal?”
Perhaps the answer to that question might well be, “Arizona!”
When drivers are unable to read English they are likely to have a serious problem because they cannot understand the signs that not only provide directions but may warn of hazardous conditions they are likely to encounter including construction sites, adverse weather conditions and accidents ahead.
This is why I am incensed that many states such as New York State allow those applying for a driver’s license to take the written test in a number of languages besides English.
According to the article I have attached below, In Arizona, the applicant for a driver’s license may also be accompanied by a translator to the exam!  With a translator sitting next to the prospective motorist, who is making certain that the translator is simply translating the questions and the applicants responses rather than simply answering the question for the applicant?
Do we really need to have more incompetent drivers on our nation’s roads?
Next we come to the national security implications that the Arizona driver’s licensing process engenders.
The terrorists who attacked our nation made use of multiple driver’s licenses to conceal their true identities that aided in their ability to hide in plain sight but also enabled them to conceal their movements as they prepared to launch the worst terrorist attack ever carried out on American soil.
Today, more than ever, the driver’s license is a crucial document.  It is the de facto national identity document.  We use driver’s licenses for a number of important purposes that have absolutely nothing to do with driving but everything to do with providing what is perceived as incontrovertible evidence as to our identities.  We use driver’s licenses to gain access to airliners, government office buildings and corporate office buildings.  We use driver’s licenses to verify our identities when we seek a job and fill out the Form I-9 and we use a driver’s license when we consummate a business transaction or make a purchase with a personal check or credit card.
People who can provide a driver’s license to substantiate their identities take on the appearance of legitimacy and almost invariably, can pass themselves off as being the name on their driver’s license.
Driver’s licenses are also referred to as “Breeder documents” because they can be used to enable the bearer of the license to apply for other identity documents.
Most of the terror watch lists and “No Fly” lists are purely name based.  If a terrorist is able to obtain a driver’s license in an assumed identity, that terrorist will be able to easily circumvent the safeguards that have been implemented since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The DHS website has posted an article about the significance of driver’s licenses that you should check out.  Here is a link to that article:
Here is an excerpt from the DHS website that addressed the critical nature of driver’s licenses:
                                                                                                            *****************************************************

Why We Need More Secure Driver’s Licenses

Raising the standards of state-issued identification is an
important step toward enhancing national security. Because a driver’s
license serves so many purposes (access to federal buildings, nuclear
power plants, boarding aircraft, etc.), criminals and terrorists
actively seek fraudulent state-issued identification. States that
implement measures to increase their documents’ security make it more
difficult for criminals to obtain these documents, while making it
easier for law enforcement to detect falsified documents. While many
states have invested in improvements to their driver’s licenses and
licensing processes, the lack of minimum performance standards have made
it possible for criminals and terrorists to exploit jurisdictions where
standards are lower and fraud is easier to commit. That is why the 9/11
Commission recommended that the federal government issue minimum
performance standards that all states could measure themselves against.

                                                                                                            *****************************************************
What is extremely frustrating is that those who seek open borders and oppose the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws are still being described as being “Immigrant rights activists.”
This provides these folks with a level of credibility that is unjustified!
Anyone who believes that it is acceptable to ignore the lessons the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 taught our nation as articulated in the 9/11 Commission Report is not being an advocate for immigrants but is an advocate for creating a national security nightmare for our nation and all who live in our country including United States citizens, lawful immigrants, lawful nonimmigrants and even illegal aliens!
Anyone who is willing to provide illegal aliens with driver’s licenses so that they can work is willing to facilitate the ability of illegal aliens to take jobs desperately needed by United States citizens and lawful immigrants who have lost their jobs and their ability to support themselves and their families and are not advocates for immigrants but are advocates for illegal aliens!
I would remind you that the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and burglar!
Furthermore it is insane to enable those who are unable to safely drive a car to be given driver’s licenses!  You would think this would be a matter of commonsense!
Aliens who run our nation’s borders pose a threat to national security and public safety.  The inspections process that they evade is conducted to prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country would be problematic for our nation and our citizens and lawful immigrants and might even pose a threat to their very lives!
First of all, an alien who runs our nation’s border leaves no record of his (her) entry into the United States, this in and of itself poses a serious problem for law enforcement authorities and creates a significant vulnerability for our nation.
Second it is important to consider the section of law contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that addresses the categories of aliens who are to be excluded from the United States.
Title 8, United States Code section 212 is that section of law that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the INA, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found here:

Please take the time to review the contents of this section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Among the categories of aliens who are supposed to be kept out of the United States are aliens with dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries, aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals and aliens who have committed human rights violations.  Also aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage are among those who are, by law, supposed to be prevented from entering our country and are supposed to be removed if they manage to evade the Border Patrol and enter the United States.

An individual who is able to obtain a driver’s license under an assumed identity is able to easily embed himself in a community and those who would seek to do so are likely to be criminals, terrorists or others who seek to use the camouflage of a false identity the way that a chameleon uses changes in coloration in order to hide in plain sight, likely among his intended victims.

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 


Please check out my website:

       
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I hope you will be listening!  (Please tell your friends and neighbors!)
Here is a link to the program:

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Arizona’s lax driver-test rules lure foreigners

Ariz. lets interpreters help with written test

The Arizona Republic


Arizona has become a magnet for
foreigners who find it easier to get a driver’s license here than in the
states where they live. It’s a development that is raising
public-safety and national-security concerns.

Arizona has more permissive rules than any other state governing who
can get a license, how they can get it and how long the license is valid
before it expires. Hundreds of people come to Arizona from stricter
states seeking driving credentials.

Immigrant-rights advocates say Arizona provides an essential service
for people who are in the country legally, often as refugees. They know
how to drive a car but are unable to get a license in their home states
because they can’t pass a written test in English and translators aren’t
allowed.

But officials from other states say Arizona may be a pipeline for
dangerously unqualified drivers. Also, some federal officials and
homeland-security advocates warn that Arizona is vulnerable to
propagating identity fraud and is notorious as a place for criminals to
get fake licenses.

Arizona, with numerous seasonal and other part-time residents, lacks a residency requirement for people seeking licenses.

Applicants for an initial license need to pass a written and road
test administered by the Motor Vehicle Division, or they need to pass a
certification test by a private, state-licensed school.

Applicants with permanent addresses in other states can use translators to help them with the MVD’s written tests.

An Arizona license is typically valid until the holder turns 65. In
the case of legal foreign residents, licenses expire with their visas.

Arizona does require applicants to document their legal presence in the country, and the Arizona Department of Transportation
has tighter standards than many states in the documents required to
prove lawful presence, ADOT and a national watchdog group say.

But no other state has a longer renewal period, offers adults a proxy
exam at a private school or issues out-of-of state licenses like
Arizona, said Brian Zimmer, president of the Washington, D.C.-based
Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, which wants to reduce ID fraud
with tighter document security.

“The word is out on the East Coast: There are certain states you go
to to get an easy license, and Arizona is one of them,” Zimmer said.

“The Number 1 concern is they become a hazard for other drivers,” he
said, noting that, for instance, understanding road signs in English can
be a problem.

The spotlight has turned on Arizona’s out-of-state licenses because of an ongoing Massachusetts investigation.

There, state authorities said they suspended the licenses of 124
Somali refugees. They also are investigating hundreds of other Arizona
license holders, according to the Boston Globe.

Authorities discovered the problem when the Somalis, who had failed a
written test to get a license in Massachusetts, tried to exchange their
Arizona licenses for Massachusetts credentials, said Richard Nangle,
spokesman for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Massachusetts allows exchanges without a written test.

Awaef Hussein, who helps immigrants at a Boston-area community
center, said many were refugees who had grown frustrated and needed to
drive to work. Some learned of Arizona’s licenses by word of mouth
because they had relatives here. All the immigrants he knows are in the
country legally, he said.

Despite the Massachusetts case, Arizona officials do not believe
their licensing system is widely abused. ADOT issued more than 3,900
out-of-state licenses in the past fiscal year.

“I don’t think there is any cause for alarm,” said Stacey Stanton,
director of ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. “There’s nothing to indicate
anything nefarious in this activity.”

But Zimmer and others warn that Arizona is ripe for abuse.

“Nationally, it is common knowledge among those who follow these
things that Arizona’s system can be manipulated,” said Vincent Picard,
spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix, which is advising ADOT on how to spot document fraud.

ADOT earlier this year launched an investigation into private driving schools in the state, officials said.

Although investigators were examining the competency of the schools,
ICE officials also explained how there is potential for a “financial
incentive for them to be less diligent than they should be about
document security,” Picard said.

Zimmer, who was a senior investigator for the House Judiciary
Committee when he delved into how the 9/11 hijackers got ID documents,
warned of such a threat to national security.

“Of course there is, if a driving school can be induced to accept bribes from a criminal,” he said.

On Tuesday, prosecutors in Pennsylvania underscored the point when a
federal grand jury convicted a Philadelphia woman for illegally helping
hundreds of out-of-state residents there get driver’s licenses.

The indictment said co-defendants in the case helped applicants
provide phony Pennsylvania addresses and helped them cheat on tests
between 2006 and last year. An undercover investigator was guaranteed a
driver’s license for $2,200 and fraudulent residency documents for $300,
according to the indictment.

Recent cases in New Mexico also highlight the concerns.

Last month, a state grand jury returned a 300-felony-count indictment
against an Albuquerque woman who was accused of creating fake residency
documents to help illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses in that
state, according to a statement from the New Mexico’s Governor’s Office.

“This is yet another egregious case that shows we’re attracting
criminal elements to our state for the sole purpose of obtaining
driver’s licenses,” Gov. Susana Martinez said. “Our driver’s licenses
have been compromised, and we’re not only putting our residents at risk
but those living in other states, as well.”

Zimmer’s group, the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, said New Mexico is another state known for laxity.

The group said New Mexico is one of a dozen states that has met 10 or
fewer of the 18 requirements under the 2005 REAL ID Act, a key
post-9/11 legislation designed to eliminate the identity vulnerabilities
exploited by the attackers.

Arizona, which has met 12 requirements, is one of a dozen other states with fewer than 14 in place.

From July 1, 2010, to June 30 of this year, ADOT issued more than
3,900 out-of-state licenses, down from a high of more than 12,000 during
the same period five years earlier.

Stanton could not say how many were residents of other states or how many obtained licenses via private schools.

No school has lost its license after an annual renewal process or
random state audit, nor have there been any customer complaints, she
added.

ADOT’s investigation into the schools is ongoing.

“We want to make sure professional driving schools are conducting
themselves according to their contract,” Stanton said. “You’ve got a
customer who’s paid for a class. We want to make sure there is consumer
protection and that student gets what they paid for.

“I also want to make sure people are fit and able to be on the roadways.”

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