The Corner

The Burdens of Citizenship

Our correspondent Jack Dunphy in the Los Angeles Police Department has a very, ah, arresting post on PajamasMedia.

Los Angeles Police Department officers manning sobriety checkpoints will no longer, as a matter of department policy, impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers. That is unless the unlicensed driver is a United States citizen or lawful resident, in which case he can say adios to his car for 30 days, as authorized by California law …

The change in policy was announced last week by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who called it a question of “fairness” …

The new rules, Beck said, were an attempt to mitigate somewhat “the current reality, which is that for a vast number of people, who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources, their ability to live and work in L.A. is severely limited by their immigration status.”

Words fail me … though they have not failed the, so far, 209 commenters on Jack’s piece. As one of those commenters asks, rhetorically I think:

Can you get out of the impound by renouncing your citizenship on the spot?

When I think of all the trouble and expense I went to to get U.S. citizenship, I sometimes find myself wondering why I bothered. What next — a U.S. citizen only being counted as three-fifths of a person for apportionment purposes?

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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