Does a foreigner who is here legally need a state-issued driver’s license? Depends on the state; here in Virginia, for instance, a foreign driver’s license is generally recognized for up to 6 months. After that, a standard Virginia license, valid for five years, may be obtained.
The legal immigrant certainly doesn’t need the state license for identification; he’ll have a valid passport. However, there is a public safety argument to be made that foreigners ought to take the same driver’s test to qualify as citizens. God only knows what the requirements might be in some less-civilized precincts of our hemisphere; I’ve driven in some of them and it’s not a pretty sight.
Then there’s the issue of immigrants over-staying their visas, and becoming illegals. Shocked, I’m sure you are, but it happens. And there’s the rub. Once they have a valid state license, good for, say, five years, they’ve got the basis for extending their stay in the United States long past the expiration of their visa.
What brings up this topic is that the open-borders, amnesty for all lobby has caused a Democrat judge in Texas to rule:
…that Texas can no longer deny driver’s licenses to legal immigrants with temporary visas and must issue standard licenses instead of non-standard ones approved by a state panel three years ago.
Now Governor Perry seems to be just fine with that; Immigration may be a soft spot for this would-be Republican savior. What this activist judge struck down was a two-tiered licensing scheme: legal immigrants got short-term licenses.
Which makes perfect sense. If someone is here on a one-year visa, they ought to be able to get a valid state driver’s license that will expire at the same time, perhaps with a grace period of a couple of months. Surely it is not beyond the capability of the dumbest of the dumb at state DMVs to simply key the expiration date for a legal immigrant to their visas (except ours here in Virginia of course, who are brilliant…).
Sadly, too many states will simply issue valid driver’s licenses to anyone who has a heartbeat and a body temp above 90 degrees. Legal, shmegal. It’s just more paperwork if they’re not here legally, so let’s pretend they are. And, don’t you know, it would be racist to check on immigration status, you see.
In the meantime, we lose yet another bit of our national sovereignty, as those here illegally and their guilty-white enablers will not enforce laws already on the books.