Home Social Issues NY Times: “Crackdown in Virginia Strips a Legal Immigrant of His Livelihood”

NY Times: “Crackdown in Virginia Strips a Legal Immigrant of His Livelihood”


Great job, Bob McDonnell. Not!

When Mohamed Mejri, a Tunisian immigrant with a limousine business here, first learned that the State Department of Motor Vehicles refused to issue him a new driver’s license, he thought it was a mistake.

After all, he had been a licensed driver in Virginia for years.

But last fall, the department stopped accepting his federally issued work permit, a document that was his main proof that he was in the country legally, because he does not have a green card.

Now, five months later, his business is collapsing, and bill collectors are calling.

Virginia changed its policy in September after an illegal immigrant from Bolivia was charged with hitting and killing a nun while driving drunk in Prince William County.

Her death hardened what was already a strong anti-immigrant mood in the state. Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, announced that work permits would no longer be accepted as proof of legal residence...

So, let’s summarize what Bob McDonnell has accomplished here: a) ruined a legal immigrant’s life; b) driven a business out of Virginia; c) not made any of us any safer; d) appeased the xenophobes in his base; and e) proved that he is a divider not a uniter. Congratulations.

  • Dan Sullivan

    Exceptions are a test beyond the intellectual capacity of bigots (in the original sense of the term).

  • to admit that we don’t live in a world where things are always black and white?  We know we are a complex society, and most of us actually benefit from that, but we keep insisting on easy fixes and slogans instead of real thought and action.

  • DanielK

    These politicians and even our fearless Attorney General really knows nothing about how immigration law works.  A green card is obviously different from a work authorization card.  However, they both serve the same purpose: They show that an immigration is in the United States lawfully but for completely different purposes. Someone with a work authorization card is a person who is known by ICE/DHS and allowed in the country for a specified period of time.  Now, someone with a work authorization card is less likely to be successful in removal proceedings if they commit a crime but that is besides the point.  The main point is that someone with a work authorization card is lawfully in the country.  Remember, if they weren’t allowed to be in the country for work purposes ICE, the government agency responsible for immigration would not have issued them the document.

    The case in Prince William county is also very deceptive.  The illegal alien was already under removal proceedings and out on bond much like a criminal defendant is allowed to be released on bond while they are awaiting adjudication of their case.  It’s unfortunate that this happened and really helped fan the flames for the “I hate Hispanics/BVBL” crowds out there but that’s what happens.  The argue can even be made that someone who is under removal proceedings like the individual in Prince William was who drove drunk was technically lawfully in the country while he was awaiting to be official order “deported.”  

    This is what politicians do not want to talk about but it’s a sad reality and it’s how the system works.  The system, much like the criminal justice system works but like anything else there will always be flaws. Government and law enforcement do their best but further restricting those in the country legally does not to further the interest of public safety!