Matthew weighs in on the question today and he makes some good points on enforcement and immigration policy in general but frankly, I don't understand the brouhaha over issuing a drivers license to illegal immigrants. It really is, in its most basic form, a yes or no question. Of course we should do it if we can. What's the harm? In the end it's just one more plastic card in your wallet and they're going to drive with or without a license.
The real question is how many would even bother to get one if they could? I don't know about the rest of you but when I went to just change my license from Mass to NC, even with a valid, unexpired Mass ticket to drive, it took two trips to produce enough ID to satisfy the DMV. I expect it would be much more difficult for an illegal to establish identity. And of course, obtaining the license would be a defacto admission of one's illegal status. I mean, why bother? They could just go straight to immigration to start their deportation and skip the middleman. These people live in constant fear of the INS. What makes anyone believe they would willingly march into a government agency and declare themselves?
Maybe it's just my residual crankiness over the time change but the whole debate strikes me as just short of nonsenical.