Supreme Courts rejects license argument from illegal immigrant

ATLANTA -- A Gwinnett County illegal immigrant's call to end a requirement for driver's licenses, saying it causes police to racially profile, was rejected by the state Supreme Court Monday.

The state's high court upheld the Gwinnett court ruling that the statute that prohibits driving without a valid license is valid. Justice David Nahmias said Mexican citizen Fernando Castillo-Solis incorrectly interpreted the statute and said the law does not include a "retroactive amnesty" provision allowing someone to avoid guilt by later obtaining a license.

The Castillo-Solis case dates back to a January 2010 police stop, where a Gwinnett officer learned through a computer check that the man's 2002 Chevrolet van's registration had been suspended. Castillo-Solis was also cited for driving without a license.

According to court records, Castillo-Solis is a Mexican national who had been living in Georgia illegally for 10 years.

He argued to the Supreme Court that the Georgia statute, along with the 287(g) program, implemented in Gwinnett and other counties to allow deportation proceedings when a person is arrested, "work in concert to create a discriminatory scheme to target undocumented immigrants for arrest and deportation from the U.S."

Castillo-Solis argued that the "safe harbor" provision in the law, which allows a person to produce a license in court if he or she wasn't carrying it at the time of a traffic stop, is discriminatory because his illegal status does not allow him to get a license. But the court pointed out the law does not allow someone to get out of a ticket if they obtain the license later, only if they were already licensed but did not have the license with them at the time of the stop.

"The safe harbor does not allow a person cited for driving without a valid Georgia driver's license to escape guilt by obtaining such a license after the fact and presenting it at trial," the opinion said.

"However, to the consternation of generations of American teenagers, there is no fundamental right to a driver's license," Monday opinion says. The safe-harbor provision "merely establishes a straightforward way for Georgia residents with valid Georgia drivers' licenses not in their immediate possession when stopped by the police" to defeat charges.

The court rejected the argument that the provision violates due process or equal protection, and said the state is not attempting to implement its own immigration policy.

"The Supreme Court of the United States has recently reiterated that federal immigration laws do not preempt all state laws relating to illegal immigrants and indeed that 'courts should assume that "the historic police powers of the States" are not superseded "unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.,"'" the order says.


R 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry - he's now simply "Dream-lite" federal work permit ready ...

And that, my fellow residents, gets him the GA driver license.


kevin 2 years, 6 months ago

Our laws are not discriminatory. Our illegal immigrants are discriminatory against law-abiding citizens. Get legal or go home.


GeorgiaResident 2 years, 6 months ago

Laws are discriminatory against people who break the law!


DavidBrown 2 years, 6 months ago

My heart goes out to Reince Priebus and the other leaders of the Republican Party. They're faced with the reality that losing the Hispanic vote probably cost the GOP the White House and other races. They realize the party needs to moderate their intransigent position on immigration. But, how do they do that while mollifying the hardline voices heard on this thread and elsewhere?


Say_that_again 2 years, 6 months ago

Absurd excuse! The Republicans never had the Hispanic vote! It is true that George W. Bush did woo more of them by giving speeches in Spanish and most of those now know that was a mistake. The real problem with the Republican party is they are becoming the party of rich white men and fringe groups.


LilburnsFuture 2 years, 6 months ago

Please do not believe this was a mistake. Do you honest believe that Democrats are not pulling the same? If you want a speaking tactic that works well, utilize spanglish. In other words, use spanish expressions when public speaking. You want to draw your audience in, not alien (pun intended) them. Democrats hope Republicans will treat hispanics as poorly as they did blacks so they can recruit. I vote by the issues. But any party that claims to have ownership of a race is a diservice to the population. Any opposing party that gives up seeking another race's support is in essense digging their own hole.


news2me 2 years, 6 months ago

"The real problem with the Republican party is they are becoming the party of rich white men and fringe groups." .....................................................

LOL ... How RACIST of you. Sterotyping and bigotry at it's finest.


FordGalaxy 2 years, 6 months ago

Is it not equally "racist" to consider that the entirety of the Hispanic vote will desert the GOP because Republicans actually want to enforce immigration laws? Is it not equally "racist" to believe that voters should be counted as their ethnic groups rather than individuals? That seems the mantra of the left. "The Hispanic vote." "The African-American vote." Most democrat pundits who find their way on tv or radio seem to think people should vote Democrat simply because of either the color of their skin or the country of origin. That, to me, seems just as racist as they accuse the Republicans of being.

The party needs to "moderate their intransigent position on immigration?" So, in other words, they should stop trying to enforce immigration law and should just openly welcome people who come into this country illegally? How would you feel if I broke into your house and started living in one of your rooms? Would you call the cops? Or would you "moderate your intransigent position" and welcome me into your house and begin providing for me?


John5214 2 years, 6 months ago

Well DavidBrown, I will tell you. They will do what they have to do to get re-elected. After all, that is what it is all about. Re-election is the only priority for these people. That's the sad fact.


BuzzG 2 years, 6 months ago

We are letting more than a million aliens in each year legally. Let him go back and apply to get in legally.

There are already 311 million of us living here. How many more do you want, David Brown. Troglodytes like you are the reason we are $17 trillion in debt and high unemployment persists nearly everywhere.


DavidBrown 2 years, 6 months ago

Folks, the big question is how badly do you want to win back the White House?


LilburnsFuture 2 years, 6 months ago

If they continue with the present track, the Republicans will loose the majority of hispanics again.


news2me 2 years, 6 months ago

Really? Are you back on this bandwagon again? Your constant question proves that WINNING is just a popularity contest to the Democratic Party. Hilter had millions of followers.

Votes are based on Quantity (D) over Quality (R). SMH


DavidBrown 2 years, 6 months ago

"news2me", you're just jealous because your party has won the popular vote only once since 1988. Winning is a lot better than losing.


news2me 2 years, 6 months ago

LOL ... Jealous? Jealous that mindless quantity driven voters gave Barack Obama his job back when he did not deserve it? How can I be jealous of someone that is destroying the United States?

So when it comes to Illegals, then the Republican party is mine / not yours? The majority of Americans are against illegal immigration, so why are you still a Democrat? You do realize it is not popular to like criminal behavior? DavidBrown likes to be unpopular and break laws and encourage lawless behavior?

So, David Brown is also Pro Abortion and Pro Gay Marriage because it is popular at the moment? Are you jealous?


Finally Mr Brown, since you like Winning so much, here is a popular quote for you: The number of followers you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12.

DavidBrown, are you as a Christian jealous of Hitler?


jack 2 years, 6 months ago

"Winning is a lot better than losing."

To hell with this country! All that matters is that my party wins and yours loses. So I can flaunt superiority vicariously through my corrupt politicians, who are, of course, far more capable than your inferior corrupt politicians. This requires the same mindset and acumen as one needs to root for a sports team. Rah, rah, rah.

God help us.


Sign in to comment