The police union is strongly opposed to the plan, which they see as “an effort to score political points through reforms the union warns could hurt public safety.” Their position is supported by studies that show unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes.
[Note: This article was originally posted on December 16th, 2011. The IFNM website was attacked by hackers and many articles are now gone from the archives. As a public service, IFNM is now reposting said articles.]
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck
It’s a real bummer when you’re an illegal alien, driving without a license, and your car gets impounded. That can just ruin your whole day. Luckily, the Los Angeles Police Department is working to make things easier on the unlicensed and undocumented, as reported by the L.A. Times:
Unlicensed drivers without prior convictions would be given the chance to avoid having their vehicles impounded under new rules outlined Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The proposed changes to the impound procedures are a potentially explosive issue because LAPD Chief Charlie Beck designed the reforms to remedy what he believes is the unfair burden that impounds place on illegal immigrants. Since immigrants who are in the country illegally cannot get driver’s licenses in California and most other states, they make up the majority of the drivers who have their cars impounded for the infraction.
Beck contends that the hundreds of dollars in fees and fines that must be paid to retrieve an impounded car and the disruption to illegal immigrants’ often tenuous hold on jobs deal a disproportionate blow to people “who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources.”
I swear to you that I am not making this up. Follow the link. It’s a real L.A. Times story. Wait, it gets better, as Chief Beck clarifies his reasoning:
In an interview Tuesday, Beck amplified his position: “It’s a fairness issue. There is a vast difference between someone driving without a license because they cannot legally be issued one and someone driving after having their license revoked.”