Tennessee Suspends Alien License Program

Joyce Howard Price, Washington Times, February 25, 2006

Tennessee yesterday suspended a program that issued driving certificates to illegal aliens, after recent federal investigations showed widespread abuse.

The decision comes as Maryland lawmakers are considering a similar program.

The shutdown in Tennessee followed a series of arrests in recent months that exposed scams such as shuttle services that brought illegals from other states to obtain driving certificates unlawfully and bribes paid to state license examiners who provided illegals with drivers’ licenses and certificates without testing.

“This program was a good idea in theory, but there have been problems with implementation,” said Tennessee Safety Commissioner Jerry Nicely, who announced that no more driving certificates will be issued to illegal aliens, pending a thorough re-examination of the program.

There were cases of illegals from places such as New Jersey and Georgia traveling to Tennessee and using false residency papers to get driving certificates, according to Julie Oaks, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Safety Department.

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