Police chief says ‘yes’ to drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants

Should undocumented immigrants be able to get drivers’ licenses? That question has been one of the most controversial topics in state politics in recent years.

Yesterday, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck weighed in, coming down on the side of issuing licenses to undocumented drivers. Chief Beck argued it would make our streets and highways safer by, for instance, decreasing the number of hit-and-run accidents because undocumented aliens wouldn’t need to be afraid of being caught without a license at accident sites. Critics argue that issuing licenses to the undocumented just rewards people who have already broken American immigration laws. The Los Angeles Times has more on the story. Here’s what Chief Beck said:

“The reality is that all the things that we’ve done — ‘we’ being the state of California — over the last 14, 16 years have not reduced the problem one iota, haven’t reduced undocumented aliens driving without licenses. So we have to look at what we’re doing. When something doesn’t work over and over and over again, my view is that you should reexamine it to see if there is another way that makes more sense.”

What’s your take?