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April 29 buzz: The cost of illegal aliens, firefighters and schools

April 29, 2011 |  1:15 pm

Most viewed and commented: Unlicensed drivers: Impounding is not the answer

Want safer roads? Here's what the editorial board proposes:

Unlicensed drivers, including illegal immigrants, shouldn't be on the road. But impounding their cars is not the answer. A far better solution would be to enact legislation to allow all immigrants -- without regard to their status -- to apply for driver's licenses. This would ensure that illegal immigrants learn the rules, pass a driving test and obtain insurance. That, ultimately, would help protect everyone on the roads.

Reader Tim Bowman is not so sure:

Rewarding law breaking only breeds more law breaking.  Illegal aliens (the proper term) are free to return to their home countries to apply for driver's licenses -- we're not stopping them.  If you allow them to do so, you are telling that they are free to receive other services after having violated our immigration laws, and you are telling those that take the time, effort, and expense to comply that they are foolish for having done so.

Djuna Barnes also disagrees with the editorial:

"Impounding is not the answer"

illegal immigration enforcement is

As does nohovet:

Bank robberies are a problem because they interrupt daily business activities of the bank, jeopardize customers and cause long lines waiting for the hostage drama to play out.  Surely, none of us wants to see this happen.  So let's all adopt a "common sense" solution like the L.A. Times recommends for unlicensed drivers.  No, the solution is not to enforce the law and arrest and imprison bank robbers.  You might think it would be, but that's just because you don't have common sense like the Times editorialists. The "common sense" solution is, first, to call bank robbers something else that sounds a lot better like, say, "Unauthorized withdrawers of funds who use a firearm and scrawled note to expedite their transaction."  Then, following the Times model, simply open the doors to the vault and authorize anyone and everyone who so desires to stroll in, scoop up all the money they want and briskly walk out the door unhindered by any law enforcement whatsoever. Voila! The unpleasantness formerly known as "bank robbery" is now solved, L.A. Times-style, just like the problem of unlicensed drivers.  Now, on to arson, rape, embezzlement, drug-smuggling ....

To nohovet's point: Actually, what the editorial board members are saying is that we need to prioritize public safety concerns so that our roads are safe for drivers and pedestrians. That includes encouraging proper training for all drivers; it also means using sobriety checkpoints for getting drunk drivers off the road, not collecting illegal immigrants.

Most shared: Forget tax and spend: Now it's no taxes and no spending

"If we won't pay for schools, and we won't pay for firefighters, what will we pay for?" asks Paul Whitefield. This is in response to a recent influx of comments from readers who feel taxed-out (or greedy) and do not wish to pay for public services.

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--Alexandra Le Tellier

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