Monday, October 4, 2010

The Unintended Consequences of Immigration Enforcement

One of the recurring tropes I hear from the anti-immigrant folks is that undocumented immigrants get in car accidents and have no insurance, thus costing innocent, responsible drivers money by forcing out-of-pocket payments for damages or consequent higher premiums, due to no fault of their own. While I can certainly empathize with the people who feel 'cheated' by these folks, they should actually be blaming the system.

Why? Because the enforcement mechanisms in place in many states forbid undocumented immigrants to have drivers' licenses, thus rendering them ineligible to purchase auto insurance. Given that 'driving while undocumented' has become a deportable offense, one can assume that many of the hardworking immigrants who risked so much to get here would pay a few bucks a month to drive legally and pay for inadvertent damage their mistake may have caused.

It's good to see this story making headlines, finally. Kudos to WaPo for covering it, albeit too late for the CIR battle.

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