The war of words on illegal immigration continues…
U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Maryland-1st) has cosponsored a package of bills in Congress to prohibit states from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
“This is a matter of national security. We can’t forget that all but one of the terrorists who were involved in the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, used driver’s licenses to establish multiple false identities and breach security at airports that day. That’s why I voted for the REAL ID act in 2005 and continue to support measures that will address these concerns,” Gilchrest said.
Gilchrest has cosponsored H.R. 4176, the Prevention of Unsafe Licensing Act, which prohibits states from issuing any driver’s license or identification card to individuals not lawfully in the United States.
He has also supported H.R. 4160, which would withhold a portion of a state’s federal highway funding if that state issues driver’s licenses that are not complaint with the REAL ID Act, including giving licenses to illegal immigrants. This bill gives states until 2010 to comply with the REAL ID Act, or begin to lose highway funds. This is the same tactic used by Congress in 2000 to urge state governments to lower their limits on blood alcohol content to .08 percent.
He also has signed on to H. Res 800, which would express the sense of the House of Representatives that states should not be issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
“The 9/11 Commission found that unsecure driver’s licenses issued by state governments constituted a serious national security threat. We should take this advice and pass these bills as another step to try and protect Americans from those who want to do us harm.”
Unfortunately, the THOMAS website has not yet put up a synopsis of either H.R. 4160 or H.R. 4176 as both bills are too recent. But I can see where his support of H.R. 4160 is bothersome as he cited one of my most despised examples of the federal government interfering in states’ rights, the .08% BAL example. That was pushed and pushed for years by my former Senator, Mike DeWine of Ohio and he finally got that blackmail passed. To “urge” a state is one thing, but to withhold funding is another.
It seems like Congressman Gilchrest does a lot of things that are timed to counter charges leveled by his opponents that he’s too soft on one issue or another – case in point, H. Res. 800 was introduced on November 6th but Gilchrest signed on November 15th. A true believer would have been in the original group signing on or close to it.
The upcoming holiday might provide a little break in the GOP infighting but rest assured this campaign will remain hotly contested for the less than three months we have until the primary on February 12.
Crossposted on Red Maryland.