The Driver In The First Accident Was Booked For The DayWould you also like to receive exclusive deals from the Mental Floss store and save 15 on your first order An inattentive driver using his Tesla Model Ss semiautonomous driving system and a truck driver who made a lefthand turn in front of the car are both to blame for. Illegal Immigrants Without Drivers Licenses Risk More Than a Ticket. In Georgia, voters have been worried about unlicensed illegal immigrants whose driving skills are untested and who often lack insurance, including some who caused well publicized accidents. Lawmakers have tightened requirements to keep illegal immigrants from obtaining licenses and license plates, and have increased penalties for driving without them. There are certain things you cant do in the state of Georgia if you are an illegal immigrant, said State Senator Chip Rogers, a Republican who was a prime mover behind some of the traffic measures. One of them is, you cant drive. Many Georgia counties have begun to cooperate formally with the Department of Homeland Security, so that illegal immigrants detained by the local police are turned over more consistently to federal immigration authorities. Still, according to The Timess analysis, 2. Georgia are driving to work daily. For them, the new laws mean that any police stop, whether for a violation that caused an accident, or for a broken taillight or another drivers mistake, can lead to deportation. Since 2. 00. 6, thousands of immigrants, mostly from Latin America, have been deported from Georgia after traffic violations, often shaking up long settled families. The stepped up enforcement has been applauded by many citizens. It has also antagonized the fast growing Hispanic communities in and near Atlanta, where residents say the police are singling them out for traffic stops. The Driver In The First Accident Was Booked For Previous Charges' title='The Driver In The First Accident Was Booked For Previous Charges' />Illegal immigrants say they continue to risk driving without a license in order to keep their jobs. We have to work to support our kids, so we have to drive, Ms. Valencia said in Spanish, after she was released on a 7,5. October from an immigration detention center in Alabama to begin her legal fight against deportation. If we drive, we get stopped by the police. The first thing they ask is, Can I see your license Dont have oneGo to jail. And from jail to deportation. A Sheriff Cracks Down. Not a few unlicensed Hispanic drivers are traveling the chronically congested roads here in Gwinnett County, a commuter destination northeast of Atlanta. Years of growth resulted in spreading subdivisions and state highways that converge at vast intersections. Public bus routes are few. To get around the county, you have to go by car. After several high profile crimes committed by illegal immigrants, the sheriff, Butch Conway, a blunt spoken lawman who rides motorcycles and breeds horses in his spare time, made it his goal to reduce their population in his jail and his county. Just the fact that these people committed serious crimes when they should not have been in the country to begin with, Sheriff Conway said, I think that was an insult to the people of Gwinnett. He enrolled the detention center here in Lawrenceville, the county seat, in a program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency known as ICE. Under the program, known as 2. The deputies place holds, known as detainers, on immigrants they determine to be here illegally, so when the inmates are released from the jail they can be turned over directly to ICE. Photo. DETAINED Felipa Leonor Valencia, a Gwinnett County homeowner from Mexico facing deportation, was reunited in October with her daughter, Crystal, 1. Stephanie, 7. Credit. Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times The agreement with ICE specifies that Sheriff Conway is to focus on removing criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety or a danger to the community. The sheriff says that should include those stopped for driving without a license. I find it offensive that they just thumb their nose at our laws and operate vehicles they are not licensed to operate, he said, on top of the fact that they are here illegally. String of Violations. When some Gwinnett County residents explain why they support a crackdown on illegal immigrants, one case they cite is that of Celso Campos Duartes. Mr. Campos, a Mexican, accumulated at least five moving violations in five years, including a hit and run accident, before he was turned over to ICE for deportation last month through the county jail 2. One afternoon in October 2. Mr. Campos was driving his Ford compact down a county road just as Aubrey Sosebee, an 8. Sims 3 Empty Neighborhood. The house sits way off the road, and that was his exercise every day, to walk up to get the mail and then walk back, said Rusty Sosebee, 5. Mr. Sosebees sons. Mr. Campos struck Mr. Sosebee, knocking him to the pavement. Witnesses told the police that Mr. Campos tried to turn his vehicle and leave but several drivers blocked his path. Mr. Campos sprinted into nearby woods, where police search dogs found him hours later. Three of Mr. Sosebees children, who gathered recently to recount the accident, could not recall the events without breaking down. He knows all of the illegal actions that he has taken, Rhonda Neely, 4. Mr. Sosebees daughter, said of Mr. Campos. Hes more concerned with getting away and not getting caught than with my dads life, laying there on the road, the person he just ran over. Mr. Campos, though sober, was driving without a license and with plates from another vehicle. Although insurance is mandatory in Georgia, he had none. Mr. Sosebee received no compensation from Mr. Campos for his medical care. Mr. Sosebee never recovered from the head injury he suffered in the fall, his son Rusty said. He remained disoriented, his son said, and four months later he died. Convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, Mr. Campos served 2. 6 months in the county jail. But at the end of his sentence, he walked away. He was arrested two more times for traffic offenses. After the Sosebees learned in May, to their disbelief, that Mr. Campos was still in the country, they contacted the news media. The furor ensured that ICE would not let Mr. Campos slip away again. In an interview in October in the Gwinnett County Detention Center, Mr. Campos, now 3. 7, was impassive and unapologetic. I ran to protect my life, he said, speaking in Spanish at a jailhouse visiting booth. The accident had already happened, there was nothing I could do to avoid it. But Mr. Campos did not dispute his eventual deportation. The residents of Georgia have every right to object to people who drive without a license. Making Their Arguments. While traffic deaths involving illegal immigrants like Mr. Campos have galvanized public opinion, it is not clear that they are increasing, even as the illegal immigrant population has surged during the last decade. Photo. Celso Campos Duartes was held for deportation. There has been no surge in the percentage of Hispanic drivers killed in accidents in recent years, federal highway safety data show. What the data do show is that Hispanics who are involved in fatal crashes are far less likely than other drivers to have a valid license. About 8. 0 percent of illegal immigrants are Hispanic, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group. Looming over cases like Mr. Camposs is the question of whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to have drivers licenses in the first place. Highway safety and auto insurance experts argue that licensing requires drivers to pass tests and creates an official record of their performance on the road.