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Rein in the chaos

Two pieces of recent California legislation – one that opens e-mail “spammers” to lawsuits and another that allows state and county agencies to accept matriculas consulares cards as identification from Mexican nationals – represent the best and worst ways to maintain order in our chaotic state.

Spam

Assembly Bill 567, passed last week by the Assembly, would give individuals in California the right to sue for up to $1,000 per message for the unwanted advertisements that inundate e-mail accounts, if signed into law.



Although the bill clears the way for a new wave of lawsuits that could hurt the businesses that pursue clients through e-mail advertising, the net effect will benefit business by reducing time wasted reading and deleting unwanted e-mail. While e-mail has become more and more integrated into office life, spam e-mail has become one of the great unwanted costs of doing business.

Perhaps an alternative, Senate Bill 12, would be preferable if it ever lands on the governor’s desk, but first it has to get past the legislature. That version proposes companies seek permission before sending anyone e-mail solicitations.




Both laws could effectively put e-mail spammers out of business in California, thus boosting productivity of businesses affected by spam.

Matriculas consulares

Last week, the Assembly passed AB 25, a law that makes identification cards issued by foreign nations legitimate for use with state, city and county government agencies, as well as banks and other private institutions. The Senate has not yet voted on the measure.

With the cost of illegal immigration in California skyrocketing – mostly as it relates to social services, education, law enforcement and security – now is not the time to further erode border controls, and invite a greater influx of illegals. Although the law’s proponents stress that illegal immigrants would not be eligible to obtain state benefits, or use the cards to get a driver’s license, it would set our state on a precarious course.

If we want open borders, that is one thing, but for California to knowingly compromise U.S. border policy is unacceptable. Until our immigration laws change, the only legitimate residents of the United States are those who are legally here. The only legitimate identification for a foreign national is a passport, and, if necessary, a visitation visa.

Passing limitations on spam will give businesses back the powerful tool that e-mail has become. Making illegal immigrants de facto U.S. citizens will only take California closer to the edge of financial peril. It’s time for our legislators to make the right choices in these areas and rein in the chaos.


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