Police Chief: Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Must be Distinct

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Escondido police Chief Jim Maher said that the checkpoints are a matter of public safety and that they would continue until they were no longer needed.

    Escondido police Chief Jim Maher reiterated his support for granting licenses to undocumented immigrants on Tuesday, but he stressed that the document must look different than a regular license and it can only be used for driving, according to a published report.

    Following a story in Tuesday's North County Times, the police chief said he received numerous calls from reporters and the public on the issue, the paper reported.

    Maher said during a press conference held at the Police Department that said some in the public believed he was bending to pressure from Latino activists, who want Escondido to stop conducting driver's license checkpoints in the city.

    Maher said that the checkpoints are a matter of public safety and that they would continue until they were no longer needed.

    Escondido ranked second among 52 cities of similar size in the number of hit-and-runs for the year 2007, according to the state Office of Traffic Safety. Maher said many of those hit-and-runs may be due to unlicensed drivers who flee the scene for fear of being caught without a license and car insurance, the paper reported.