Terminating SB 60

No driver's license for illegal immigrants

By Gil Contreras
Published on LatinoLA: December 5, 2003

Terminating SB 60

I?ve tried to restrain myself for the past few months from writing about the obvious;

1), Gray Davis didn?t stand a chance of surviving the recall

2) Signing the ?car tax increase? bill was the straw that broke the camel?s back and sunk Davis

3) The war in Iraq isn?t going quite as bad as the vast left wing conspiracy would have us believe, and

4) Illegal immigrants ought not have a California (or any other state for that matter) driver?s license.

I?ve been focusing on my health, losing weight, working out, and spending time with my family. I just spent a nice Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Las Vegas and woke up feeling ?to blessed to be stressed!?

But I was listening to KPFK 90.7 FM this morning on my way home from taking my daughter to school and found the absurdity of the conversation about SB 60, which would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain a California driver?s license (CDL), to be too ridiculous to pass up. I never heard of the host or the guest (both Latino), but listening to them, I felt like maybe Ronald Reagan was right! There is an evil empire after all, only it?s the United States, not the Soviet Union!!!

Note: When did the radio station where I won a Golden Mike go so far to the left that it made the most powerful radio signal west of the Mississippi one of the most insignificant radio signals west of the Mississippi?

When did Latinos, Hispanics, Chicanos, Xicanos, or whatever the politically correct term is now, become such a bunch of whiney ass, ostrich head in the sand, anti-everything group? Did I not get the memo from Memo that said breaking the law was acceptable? Of all the issues facing the ?Latino community? such as teen pregnancy, the increasing number of HIV infections in young female Latinas, brown on brown homicide also known as ?gang? killings, how has giving an illegal immigrant a driver?s license become an issue??

SB 60 was vetoed twice by ousted former Governor Gray Davis because he knew then, as he did when he finally did sign the bill, that it was bad public policy, it had no provisions for background checks, and would not have prompted uninsured driver?s to suddenly call Gieco because they got a CDL! The signing of SB 60 by Davis was nothing more than a last ditch attempt at garnering the ?Latino? vote, hoping that such a Latino/union mobilization might save his?job.

The mistake Davis made, of course, is the same mistake that Gil Cedillo and other Latino politicians make, and that is believing that Latinos now have some ?political power? because of the increase in their numbers as a population. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on perspective), of the 40% of Latino?s in the state, only half of them are citizens and can vote. Of the half that can vote, only half actually do vote. There is no power in those numbers.

Conservatives are to blame for this CDL thing becoming an issue as well. I hope that no one in the Schwarzenegger (or Bush) administration actually believe that SB 60 would somehow have facilitated terrorist actions against Americans. Just as making anti-gun laws doesn?t stop criminals from getting guns and using them in crimes against citizens everyday, killing SB 60 isn?t going to drastically increase national security.

However, conservatives should just speak the truth?I think most of us can handle it. The truth is SB 60 is bad public policy. We would never think of rewarding gang members, bank robbers or burglars for continuing to break the law, or encourage them to continue their disregard for our laws by passing legislation that would make some of their crimes legal.

About Gil Contreras:
Gil Contreras is an award winning broadcast journalist, ex-cop and writer in Los Angeles. Email:

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