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.