Local officials are getting tough on illegal immigrants by targeting their cars, reports USA Today. Communities in Alabama, California, Illinois, and elsewhere are using laws that punish drivers without licenses. Cities often tow cars immediately. The laws don’t single out illegal immigrants, but some officials sought the penalties because more illegal immigrants are living and driving in their towns. Most states do not issue licenses to illegal immigrants.
Sam Abed, deputy mayor of Escondido, Ca., is pushing an ordinance to limit overnight parking on public streets. He says illegal immigrants crowd into homes. “Every time there’s a house for sale, three or four families buy it. There are 10 cars out front,” he says. “Some people cannot park in front of their own homes.” About 100 communities have proposed ordinances in the past year, most penalizing landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and businesses that hire them, the American Civil Liberties Union says. Forty have passed. A towing ordinance in Waukegan, Il., is being challenged in federal court. It requires police to impound a car and fine a driver without a license or insurance $500.