Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Ana Didn't Get for Slots

According to Marc Fisher's column, Gov. Martin O'Malley broke a promise to Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez to back retaining driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants:

In the 2006 campaign, the governor won the Hispanic vote with appearances such as one at Casa de Maryland, the immigrant advocacy group in Takoma Park, where he told reporters that "I don't believe that at the state and local level that we should exacerbate the problem by enacting policies that put up . . . barriers to getting a driver's license or getting to and from work or home." Unlike the previous governor, who famously called multiculturalism "bunk," O'Malley seemed intent on embracing Hispanic immigrants, even if they arrived illegally.

So advocates such as Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) and Kim Propeack, Casa's director of political action, accused O'Malley of a "betrayal" -- both women used the word -- when he announced last week that Maryland would no longer issue licenses to people who cannot prove they are here legally. As of 2010, when the federal Real ID law kicks into effect, even people who have long held Maryland licenses will be denied renewals.

"The governor did not keep his promise," Gutierrez says. "This is what he promised me when he was begging for my vote for the slots referendum, which I gave him. And that is the last time I do that."