Commentary Magazine


No Leg to Stand on

Here’s an old riddle: how many legs does an elephant have, if you call its trunk a leg? Four — just because you call a trunk a leg doesn’t make it so.

Someone needs to relay that riddle to certain police chiefs in Massachusetts, who are calling for illegal aliens to be made eligible for driver’s licenses in the Bay State.

To these chiefs, their encounters with illegal aliens at road stops are nuisances. If the driver is an illegal alien, they know he or she has no driver’s license and more than likely also lacks proper registration and proof of insurance. That means more work for the police, with the full knowledge that the alien in question will most likely not give a true name and address, or bother to show up for court.

The frustration of the police is understandable, but the solution is misdirected. We can’t simply pretend that the aliens are a little less illegal.

No, the solution is to treat everyone equally under the law — and that means all laws. This includes immigration laws, as well as driving laws, vehicle registration laws, labor laws, identity laws, forgery laws, and all the other laws that illegal aliens violate on a daily basis simply to get by.

Moreover, a driver’s license is a “gateway” document. With that license, one can get other documentation, as well as access to all sorts of services that depend on having a government-issued ID.

The proposed policy is capitulation. It allows illegal aliens to continue to exploit our system, with the added benefit of making some police chiefs’ jobs easier. Worse, it is being done at the expense of the legal immigrants, the ones who do obey the laws, follow the procedures, wait their turn in line, fill out all the forms, pay all the fees, and repeatedly demonstrate their respect for the nation, its laws and ways.

If the chiefs don’t care for the responsibilities of their jobs, then there are alternatives. I understand the local malls are always looking for security guards.