Iowa Court Rejects Illegal Aliens' Suit; Backs Denying Driver's Licenses
Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Iowa Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by two illegal aliens against state officials who refused to issue them driver's licenses, unanimously upholding a lower court ruling that said illegal aliens had no legal right to obtain a license.
Filed under the pseudonyms of Juan and Maria Sanchez, a Des Moines couple in their early 30s who have three school-age children and have lived in this country for five years, the suit asserted that the state's refusal to issue the licenses violated rights guaranteed to illegal aliens under both the U.S. and Iowa constitutions.
The suit, filed in November 2000, was a class action on behalf of all illegal and undocumented aliens in Iowa who wanted or had sought driver's licenses.
Fourteen states - Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia - permit the issuance of licenses to illegal aliens. A bill by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would prevent the federal government from accepting state-issued identifications, including driver's licenses, if the state makes them available to illegal aliens.
Passed last week by the House, the bill - known as the Clear ID Act - is aimed at establishing security standards for driver's licenses and identification documents to prevent terrorists from abusing asylum laws and to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal.
Meanwhile, a judge in New York ordered that state on Thursday to stop seizing the driver's licenses of immigrants without Social Security cards, saying the State Department of Motor Vehicles could not enforce immigration law or make new rules without notifying the public.
The order by Justice Karen Black of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan affects both legal and illegal aliens and came in response to a crackdown by the state that had targeted the licenses of 300,000 aliens in New York - 7,000 of whom already have been suspended.
State officials had argued that taking away the licenses from those without proper identification was in the interest of homeland security. …