A routinely provided conservative argument is that undocumented immigrants (often frowned upon as “illegal immigrants,” a derrogatory, slanderous phrase), funnel cash away from our economy. They use our socialized benefits. Of course, another oft-repeated argument is that they take our jobs. How they can simultaneously use up our benefits and take our jobs is a confusing (and untrue) topic for another day.
In any case, the state of Indiana is considering providing undocumented immigrants with the ability to retain a “driving card” after the Notre Dame Student Policy Network published a “Driving Card Privilege Project” study. The study provided insight into the possibility that driving cards for undocumented immigrants might improve many aspects of life, including: a reduced incident rate of hit-and-run accidents, improved law enforcement, increased state revenue, and increased revenue for car insurance companies.
Senate Bill 319 was presented last session, but the GOP decided not to move forward or pass the law.
The study says: “Indian’as current policy does not keep undocumented immigrants off the roads — but it does ensure that every time an immigrant drives in Indiana, they risk a citation for driving without a license and a string of legal consequences that could culminate in deportation. The current policy not only imposes significant costs on undocumented immigrants but by preventing drivers from being certified and purchasing insurance, it produces significant welfare and economic costs for all residents.”
Imagine you were in an accident with an undocumented individual (or rather, anyone who was unable to obtain insurance to cover an accident’s costs). The person runs because to do anything else would put them on the path to financial ruin. The police launch an investigation. Your insurance will only cover certain costs, but you have no one to sue.
These are only a few of the hidden costs that add up when some residents are treated as if they don’t belong.