Palin Tomfoolery


I signed up for Sarah Palin’s twitters and read the following:

“Rep. Lynn’s good HB3 Visa/Drivers Lic law: “If u dont have legal right to walk down Akn street, why should you have right to drive same street?”
This quoted sentence is basically an “If this is true, then the following is true too” logical statement. The IF segment of the quoted sentence is false. Illegal immigrants do have a right to walk down a street in Alaska. Therefore, the second part of the sentence–regarding whether illegals should get drivers licenses–is irrelevant(I will discuss it anyway for argument’s sake.)
First, I have to clear the air of how these rabble-rousing politicians use the word “right” in an insufferably incorrect manner. In fact, one could even say the quoted sentence above intentionally misrepresents legal facts to ignite its easily ignitable constituency.
There are no “inalienable rights”, as our founding fathers would have us believe. Rights are an abstract, man-made idea that can come and go depending on where power resides in the moment. Right now, in the U.S.A., the power is within the government. The latter has dished out rights in the form of the “Bill of Rights”, but can take them away at any time. Fortunately, in the United States, there is quite a considerable wall separating the civil (politicians, etc) and military spheres. However, that wall can crumble from a variety of circumstances i.e. war, civil strife, natural disaster, etc. And once that wall is down, rights can vanish as quickly as a bag of doritoes in the hands of someone high on Mary Jane.
Presently and thankfully, there are goverment-mandated rights given to the people that are within the United States. Of course, humans with no legal status here are not accorded the full panoply of rights as a citizen is. For example, one cannot vote if one is not a citizen. But most people in the U.S. have the right to walk down a street in Alaska, regardless of immigration status. The “right” to walk down a street falls under the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution which states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

To interpret the 4th amendment succinctly within the current context, a law enforcement official cannot stop a person on the street unless there is a clear reason to do so. For example, if a cop observes someone’s behavior and think it indicates they are about to commit a crime, the cop can stop the person and ask basic questions, even frisk that person for weapons. However, a cop cannot legally stop a person who is simply walking down a street. But, wait, a cop can see that someone might be an illegal immigrant(if they don’t speak english, or look very mexican) and therefore can stop that person because they suspect he/she may be committing the crime of being in the U.S. illegally. There is a glaring problem with the latter example:
There are millions of Hispanics legally living in the U.S. that are indistinguishable from Hispanics that are here illegally. Therefore, a police officer cannot–from mere observance of someone prancing down the street–determine whether that person is here legally or not. And, shabam, due to this, Illegals have just as much of a right to walk down a street in Alaska as anyone else.
The “right to a driver’s license” has its own problem. Anyone who took first year property in law school knows that no one has a right to a driver’s license. It is inherently obvious from the word “license”. A license is not a right; it is a privilege given when one fulfills a certain set of requirements. To get a driver’s license, the government(in this case, the state) sets the requirements. Ergo, a state government can strike out the requirement of legal immigration status to obtain a driver’s license.
Now that Palin’s quote has been thoroughly taken apart and proven as erroneous at best and in reality probably intentionally stupid, I will do my own take on whether Illegals should be allowed driver’s licenses.
Driver’s License to Aliens?: a tough call

Palin and her cohorts do not address legitimate issues without throwing in populous rhetoric and propaganda, like she did with the driver’s license quote. Democrats do this as well. This is lamentable because it results in a populace that chooses their votes(and sometime actions) on an unstable foundation. So let’s get to this specific issue without the rhetorical toppings.
Whether one agrees with giving drivers’ licenses to Illegals will most likely depend on which side of the immigration debate one is on. A person in favor of granting some sort of legal status to the millions living here illegally will obvioulsy, but not certainly, approve of the licenses. The person not in favor of giving legal status to current illegals will not approve. Therefore, the driver license debate has to fall within the immigration debate.
The specific merits of the license debate are almost tangential and here is why: By giving an illegal immigrant a license to drive, the government implicitly endorses illegal status in the U.S. The gov’t basically says to the illegal: “you are breaking the law, but we will give you this privilege anyway. oh, and by the way, we now know–since you are registered with a government agency–that you are illegal yet we will not enforce the law and deport you. Furthermore, we don’t approve of you working here, but now that you can drive, you can more easily find work.” So it really just applies to the mainstays of the argument i.e. ill. aliens take jobs away from U.S. workers, saddle the government with hospital costs, commit crimes, infringe on U.S. culture, and the list goes on. The latter examples are all debateable points that should be addressed without the populous glaze put on it by so many. Otherwise, giving a driver’s license to an alien is blissfully straightforward.
The same requirements would need to be fulfilled: road test, insurance, etc. If anything, the license-giving could boost the economy in public transitless areas–more jobs could be filled out from workers who in the past did not have the ability to commute long distances. And, this is a kicker, the failing U.S. auto industry could sell more cars! In one day, millions of new buyers would appear on the market. As a condition to granting a licence, the gov’t could require illegals to buy U.S.! Ha Ha. Just kidding.

There are two, actually. 1. Palin is dumb and the GOP–for its own sake and that of the U.S. people–should formally renounce any affiliation with her and 2. Driver’s licenses should not be given to Illegal Immigrants until the wider immigration debate is settled.


3 Responses to “Palin Tomfoolery”

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