Don Rosenberg - endorser

Father - Entertainment Executive
San Francisco, CA

FACT: Since the last amnesty in 1986 illegal alien drivers have killed over 60,000 people.
MYTH: Drivers licenses make people (anyone, not just illegal aliens) better drivers.
NOTE: My son, Drew (pictured) was killed by an unlicensed, illegal alien driver who tried to flee the scene.

Those opposed to granting drivers licenses for illegal aliens typically emphasize the fact that those who break the law should not be rewarded with privileges that not only make their lives easier but also act as an incentive to domicile where they will be treated the best.

Those in favor of granting licenses to illegal aliens say that they will drive anyway so let’s make them safer drivers who have to buy insurance.

While I agree with the rational of those opposed to granting licenses I never use that argument in my opposition to granting licenses to illegal aliens. My argument focuses entirely on the fact that licensing will not make these people as a group better drivers and it certainly won’t make them purchase insurance.

I learned this the hard way. In November 2010 my son Drew was killed by an unlicensed illegal alien in San Francisco. I have spent the past three years (almost daily) studying this issue, testifying in our state capitol, in front of police commissions and city councils. I have been called as an expert witness and appeared dozens of times on radio and news programs discussing this issue.

The first time I testified in Sacramento in July 2011 it was against a bill that would have stopped impounding cars of unlicensed drivers. I also testified that for public safety reasons illegal aliens should be allowed to obtain a driver’s license. After all, studies showed that licensed drivers were safer than unlicensed drivers; so logic dictates that licensing makes people safer drivers. But logical is not always factual.

In fact, after my appearance in Sacramento I started to attend Los Angeles Police Commission meetings where they were discussing a proposal to essentially allow unlicensed drivers to drive with at most minor fine (which they never pay). Although statistics clearly showed that unlicensed drivers were 5 times more likely to cause a fatal collision, 5 times more likely to drive drunk and 10 times more likely to flee the statistics at the time combined those who never had a license and those with suspended and revoked licenses. Those in favor of licensing claimed that because illegal aliens were so afraid of getting caught and deported they were actually the safest drivers on the road and it was the drivers with suspended or revoked license that were the horribly bad drivers. That sounded very logical. After all, if I was somewhere I didn’t belong and I didn’t want to get caught I would do everything I could to not bring any attention to myself.

The flawed logic that said licensing makes for safer drivers was just as flawed as the logic that illegal aliens were the safest drivers because they didn’t want to get caught. In November 2011 the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report where for the first time they divided the statistics on those with suspended and revoked licenses from those who never had a license at all (over 90% illegal aliens). The numbers clearly showed that those without a license were actually worse drivers than those who had their license suspended or revoked.

Conventional wisdom says that licensing will make them learn the “rules of the road” and thus be safer drivers. Over 80% of all traffic fatalities caused by unlicensed drivers are from drunk driving (48% compared to 20% for those with licenses) running stop signs and red lights and speeding. Do you really need a license to know that? Once you have a license will you obey those laws? Certainly not in New Mexico.

New Mexico is the only state so far where we can evaluate statistics both pre and post licensing and they are not good in the least bit. After licensing illegal aliens traffic fatalities exploded, collisions caused by speeding increased and that rational that once they have a license they will purchase insurance; well not really. Close to 42,000 licenses were issued and the rate of those without insurance increased 3% from 26% to 29%; the highest in the country. And by the way that 3% equaled 36,000 drivers.

The state of California issued a report in 2012 that studied traffic fatalities from 1987 through 2010. One conclusion they highlighted was that when these drivers (unlicensed) were allowed to get licenses from 1987-1994 they were just as dangerous drivers as after they weren’t allowed to get licenses.

Space does not permit me to present more factual information on the fallacy that licensing this group of drivers will make them safer drivers and make them buy insurance. What takes no space at all is a presentation of the evidence presented in each state that passed driver’s license bills last year. None was ever presented.

The two major factors that influence driving ability are experience driving and sense of responsibility. As a group these people have the experience driving. As proponents constantly repeat, “They will drive anyway” (and burglars will rob and rapists will rape so lets’ legalize those crimes as well). What as a group they clearly are not are responsible drivers. If the threat of deportation did not make them more responsible drivers do we really think handing them a license will?

Don Rosenberg was a graduate of the University of Maryland. He met his wife Ellen there, married soon after, and has been married for 35 years. Drew was born in 1985 in Washington DC. After spending two years in Chicago the family moved to the Los Angeles area where his son Evan and daughter Amanda were born. Don is an avid baseball fan and loves to garden.

Don Rosenberg has been an entertainment executive for over 35 years. He founded SBI Video, one of the first video distributors in 1980. Don also held executive positions with HBO Video, CBS/Fox Video and Epic Productions. In 1991 he became the Executive Vice President of the VSDA, the industry trade association.

In 1994 Don became the publisher of Home Media Magazine at Advanstar Communications and then became the vice president of the entertainment group managing numerous magazines and trade shows. In 2008 Rosenberg founded The Westlake Consulting Group, instrumental in transitioning Miramax from the Walt Disney Company.

Since 2011 he has been a tireless advocate for getting unlicensed drivers off the roads.