As many as 300,000 illegal immigrants in Virginia will be able to apply for “driver privilege cards” that will allow them to drive legally in the state beginning Saturday.
Legally speaking, the cards will not allow noncitizen to vote in state or federal elections.
However, they will offer a sort of de facto amnesty, letting them drive legally if they can prove income in the state or be claimed as a dependent on a recent tax return.
And since Gov. Ralph Northam—led by a recently elected Democrat legislature—repealed the state’s voter ID law in April, the extra step certainly will do little to assuage GOP concerns that it will assist illegals with committing vote fraud in future elections.
Under the 1993 Voter Registration Act, those applying for a driver’s license may be automatically registered to vote.
According to watchdogs like the Public Interest Legal Foundation, this has often resulted in non-citizens who lack a thorough understanding of the language and voting laws being added unintentionally at times to state voter rolls.
There is also evidence also that some, abetted by corrupt DMV workers, may have knowingly acted in bad faith when they were registered.
Richard D. Holcomb, commissioner of the Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, claimed that the new class of license might help resolve the concerns, though, by preventing illegals from seeking to obtain actual drivers licenses.
VDOT was “pleased to offer this new credential giving thousands of fax-paying Virginians the opportunity to drive legally on our roadways,” Holcomb said in a statement.
“This change in Virginia law, authorized by the Virginia General Assembly, creates a driving credential for individuals who are non-U.S. citizens and cannot meet Virginia’s legal presence requirements,” VDOT explained, “making them ineligible to receive a standard or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Virginia.”
Like the voter-ID repeal, Virginia’s General Assembly passed the new license law as part of a raft of radical leftist legislation after Democrats won control of both houses in 2019.
Northam signed the bill and hailed it as another step towards allowing “all Virginians” to obtain valid identification—regardless of their citizenship status.
“I cannot tell you all how important this is for about 300,000 people living in Virginia,” Democratic state Sen. Scott Surovell told the Virginia Mercury. “This bill is going to change people’s lives.”
Northam has a long history of shielding illegal immigrants. In 2019, he vetoed two Republican-backed immigration bills that would have banned “sanctuary city” policies and required local law enforcement agencies to notify federal immigration officials of illegal immigrants in their custody.
“The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable, supported and protected by our public safety agencies,” Northam said in a statement at the time.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.