The idea that illegal aliens getting driver's licenses represents some sort of threat to our security is popular right now. Congress is batting around the "REAL ID" Act (yet another abuse of acronyms). On WPR this morning I heard one of my state level legislators whining about the same thing. Unfortunately, the core idea is flawed. There are about 13 million illegal aliens in the US. Ignoring the serious impact it would have on our economy and the ethical issues, a real security improvement would be to deport them and more effectively police our borders. But that's not practical. If we're going to have millions of illegal aliens, frankly I'd rather have them voluntarily entering themselves into state ID databases. If they're going to drive (any many will), I'd rather that they were licensed than not. If we prohibit them from getting licenses they'll still be here, they'll still be driving, but we'll have less information on them. That's just stupid.
The Center for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology Policy had some longer thoughts on the matter (via Bruce Schneier's blog).
(Reposted from my livejournal.)