CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight - Transcript
PILGRIM: A controversial piece of legislation is widely expected to pass in Utah. It would give illegal aliens the same right given to citizens of this country; this bill would allow illegal aliens to obtain a driving privilege charge. Well, my next guest says the governor of Utah, who plans to sign the bill when it reaches his desk as early as next week. So joining me now from Salt Lake City, Utah is Governor Jon Huntsman. Thanks very much for being here.
GOV. JON HUNTSMAN ®, UTAH: Thank you, Kitty. Honored to be with you.
PILGRIM: This is a sort of driving card. Why do you think that this is a good solution to the millions of illegal aliens that are here in this country, or the ones that are in Utah?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I don't see it as an all or nothing kind of debate here. Already our state, along with probably 11 other states, issues a traditional driver's license, which we have found is subject to abuse when it comes to identification card use, for example. What we're looking at doing instead is issuing a driving privilege card, which also states thereon that it is not good for identification. We have to, I think, recognize reality, Kitty, which is that we have many tens of thousands of-of itinerant workers here, or undocumented aliens who still require mobility. You simply can't wave a magic wand and expect everyone to go home. And it doesn't matter whether it's someone here working or it's somebody who is studying from another country. Anyone who is looking for a driving privilege would get this driving privilege card instead of a traditional driver's license, which has been the practice in the past.
PILGRIM: Are you of the opinion that it would help secure the borders by making this distinction?
HUNTSMAN: Well, I think it's going to help in our state maintain and manage our economic situation, which is something that I'm first and foremost interested in. The federal government has to deal with the border situation. All I know in this state is that we have undocumented aliens here. We have to work realistically and pragmatically with the issue. We have mobility concerns that we have to worry about.
We're also talking about issues of driver insurance, for example. Our uninsurance rates have gone from 22 percent uninsured down to about 3 percent uninsured. For every driver on the road, that happens to be a good thing. And so for us, and for some of us who are public policy makers, this isn't an all or nothing kind of thing. We're finding a middle ground, good, sound, public policy solution going forward.
PILGRIM: What can you not use this card for? What is it not good for?
HUNTSMAN: Well, this card is only good for driving. It's good for driving privileges. Now, if a bank, for example, wanted to accept it as a form of identification to open up a bank account, that would be up to them as a private institution, but it could not be used as a form of identification, which is the problem we have with the driver's license today. And in some cases, we had folks from out of state who were coming into Utah, getting a Utah driver's license and using it nefariously for identification purposes. This would state specifically that it is not good for identification purposes, and would not be recognized as such.
PILGRIM: All right, thank you very much, Governor Jon Huntsman. Thank you.
HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Kitty.