- By Hal Netkin

In the late 1990s, as part of the welfare reform package passed under former President Clinton, the U.S. began requiring states to collect the Social Security numbers of people wishing to obtain or renew a driver's license. The idea was to use the information to track down deadbeat parents whose lack of child support payments had presumably forced their children onto welfare rolls.

The chief argument against mandatory social security numbers for drivers licenses was the possibility that a person's social security data could be in error even if the person is a legal resident or U.S. citizen and would be denied a license. But under the law, that person must be given an opportunity to straighten out their record with the Social Security Administration and issued a valid drivers license. Moreover, straightening out the record now is better than waiting until that person is age 65 and finding out that he/she hasn't been given credit for decades of work.

Thus, in 1994, California made it a requirement that driver's license applicants submit valid Social Security numbers mainly for the purpose of making it easier for government attorneys to track deadbeat dads.

Let me be clear on this point: The vast majority of illegal alien parents are not deadbeat parents -- but just as our own citizenry has its share of bad apples, so do illegal aliens -- and in this case, there is no way of knowing the good apples from the bad ones.

Virtual "deadbeat dad" amnesty
Any illegal alien father who wants to abandon his responsibility to his family in his own country, need only to illegally enter California where its leaders virtually welcome them. Some illegal alien deadbeat dads become bigamists and form new families in California (my wife and I know of one such case). Should a one-time deadbeat dad want to again become a deadbeat dad in California -- no problem -- California attorneys have no way of going after him if he is not in any of their databases.

With no logical rebuttal of the facts and with little concern for America's security, many "open borders" advocates have made licenses for illegals a racial issue. Are there some racists who don't want illegals to have licenses? Probably, but there are many other opponents of this bill who simply believe that all laws should be applied to everyone equally. And that's no racist argument -- it comes from the 14th Amendment of our Constitution.

No social security number, no license! Of course, there's always the municipal bus.