Reconquista California state senator "One Bill Gil" Cedillo on Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN, August 18, 2004. [Source]
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...Turning to our continuing report,"Broken Borders." My next guest is the author of a bill that would grant drivers licenses to more than 2 million illegal aliens in the state of California. State Senator Gil Cedillo has been pushing this bill for some six years. The state senator says he is prepared to fight for it until the day he dies.
Opponents of the bill say granting drivers licenses to millions of illegal aliens in this country poses a threat to our national security. California State Senator Gil Cedillo joins me tonight from the state capital of Sacramento.
Senator, good to have you with us.
GIL CEDILLO (D), CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR: Lou, always good to be on your show.
DOBBS: Let's clear something up right at the outset. A lot of reports and rumors that you and Governor Schwarzenegger have already worked out a deal even though the governor repealed Senate Bill 60 that Gray Davis had signed that would have given illegal aliens drivers licenses. Is there any truth to those rumors and reports?
CEDILLO: Correct. Absolutely true. We, in November, agreed that we were going to be committed highways are safe by making sure every motorist was required to be licensed, tested (ph) and insured. We also agreed that we wanted to do so in a nondiscriminatory manner which meant that we were going to give everyone the same license on its face because, as the governor indicated, being an immigrant himself, knowing the immigrant experience, that he understood that placing a mark on a license would invite discrimination and that he was opposed to that.
He understood that life experience and he brought that experience to his position and his leadership in resolving this issue. So, there is an agreement that we have. It serves as the framework for us to move forward. We have an obligation to make sure, Lou, that America is safe and we have to do all that we can. And in so doing, we have come forward with the Immigrant Responsibility and Security Act.
What does that do? It strengthens national security. It strengthens highway and community safety. And we're promoting citizenship and civic responsibility amongst immigrants in our state of California.
DOBBS: California Governor Schwarzenegger says, hold on a minute, that he has not in point of fact reached an agreement with you. That in point of fact he wants and maintains heightened concerns about national security. That he wants a separate mark on any drivers license that would be issued. Is that what he's communicating to you?
CEDILLO: We've addressed all the concerns that the governor has. This license will be the safest document in America. In fact, our "Los Angeles Daily News," a very conservative newspaper opined that this was now the time for us to resolve this with our bill.
We've referred to the 9/11 Commission report. It indicates and articulates an urgency and a need for us to know who's living in our country, to make sure that we have certainty about who our residents are. This bill does that with the strictest background checks through our Department of Justice, through the FBI, through our Homeland Security. We make sure that we have fingerprints, that we have a photo, that we're certain of an address.
So this bill will set a model for the nation, in terms of knowing who lives here, which is why it's supported by Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton, former police chief of Boston, former police chief of New York, now the police chief of Los Angeles. Why, the president of the California Police Chiefs Association, Cam Sanchez, endorses this bill.
So there's strong support from the leadership, the law enforcement community and from the rank and file police officer who doesn't feel that there's a need or that he's served any benefit by having a license with a mark. He wants to be able to identify people in the field and not have the burden of proving that he did so without looking at the mark.
DOBBS: Looking at the mark, you believe that this could be done, should be done, with no distinction whatsoever from a regular driver's license for a resident, citizen of California, legal resident whatsoever?
CEDILLO: Right. And the reason we do that is because there's not a good cause reason to have the mark. If there was some purpose that the mark served, we would look at that. But so far what we know is that it won't prevent anyone from boarding an airplane that TSA tells us and all the airlines tell us. Anyone can board an airplane if they have a consular ID card. We know it won't prevent them from opening a bank account...
DOBBS: Well, if they can do that in this country, if they can board a plane with that matricular consular (ph), which is often fraudulent, as you know, then the TSA needs to have its head examined and we need a congressional investigation of them, don't you agree?
CEDILLO: Well, that's why we're not relying on the matricular consular card. We've told the governor that what we want to use is the standards we use today for citizenship. If somebody can meet the standard of identity that we require for citizenship, then clearly in California we want to know who they are and we want them to have the responsibility of being licensed, tested and insured.
Senator, it's good of you to be here, we're out of time. I look forward to talking with you again on this issue.
CEDILLO: Lou, it's always a pleasure to be on your show.
DOBBS: Thank you.
Still ahead, the high level influence of this country's think tanks coming at a price. We'll have a special report on who is paying for America's -- well, what some people call "best thinking." Thought leaders and their influence and who they're influencing, next.