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============== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE =============
America First Party of Massachusetts
P.O. Box 61126
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02746

Tuesday, 4 November 2003

Re:  Dangers of Granting  Driver's Licenses to Illegal Immigrants -
         House Bill 2292

New Bedford, MA - The America First Party of Massachusetts, which was recently recognized as an official political designation in Massachusetts, wishes to thank Governor Romney for putting our state's and nation's interests before special interests, by opposing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.  We completely support his assertion that House Bill 2292 should not become law and that lawbreakers should not be rewarded with a sign of legitimacy.

This recent bill sponsored by Rep. Eugene L. O'Flaherty of Chelsea, which would allow illegal immigrants to receive driver's licenses, shows a lack of respect for the immigration laws of the United States, would facilitate illegal immigration and attract illegals to the Commonwealth, and fails to take into account urgent national security needs, despite the lessons of 9-11.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, as a result of  "laxity in licensing, sixteen of the 9/11 hijackers had driver's licenses or state non-driver's identification cards, which they were able to use when renting housing, opening bank accounts, and boarding planes...Hijacker Hanni Hanjour and Khalid Al-Midhar obtained Virginia licenses by hiring an illegal alien to co-sign their residency forms and listing his address as theirs. The day after they got their licenses, they sponsored two other hijackers, Salem Al-Hamzi and Majed Moqed, to get licenses, too."

The recent proposal is consistent with an official culture of disregard for immigration law which has existed for some time in Massachusetts.  For example, since 2001, the state's chief law officer, Attorney General Reilly, had ordered his staff to tell illegal aliens that they would not be turned in to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  The America First Party of Massachusetts deplores this policy, and asks Governor Romney to send a strong signal to all state officials who foster disrespect for the law, that this behavior will not be tolerated.

In addition to the immediate national security concerns, attracting illegal migrants to Massachusetts is likely to have serious consequences for state budgeting and the availability of free medical services for those without medical coverage.  It will probably result in a further escalation in the cost of all medical services, or cause some hospitals to become insolvent, as is already the case in some states.

For example, Arizona now has a $1 billion budget deficit, which some say is caused by the burden of illegals.  Supporting this assertion is the fact that Arizona's annual Medicaid costs have suddenly rocketed to $1.2 billion this year from only $200 million in 2001. According to a recent article in FrontPageMagazine.com, some Arizona hospitals are now threatened with insolvency as a result of regulations which require all persons to be treated "regardless of medical coverage (or immigration status)...Maricopa County Hospital hemorrhages an estimated $2 million dollars every week on this alone".  In addition, "the Tucson Medical Center closed its trauma center and Kino Community hospital stopped providing emergency services due to lack of funding."

Clearly, if Massachusetts creates an environment which is friendly to illegal immigration, then it should be prepared for negative consequences involving the state budget and medical services, and should be ready to share the blame for any future acts of terrorism which might occur on U.S. soil.

Jonathan Hill, State Chairman, (508) 997-3606


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