by Paul Bowers
According to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, an undocumented immigrant paid a Columbia employee of the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles a bribe in exchange for a driver's license. The man and the employee were arrested recently on charges of attempted bribery.
Arrest warrants issued in mid-April state that on Dec. 17, 2013, Ariel Fuentes Guerra of Beech Island, S.C., approached Kelly Rene Carcamo Medina, a customer service representative at a DMV location in Columbia, and "asked her to obtain a license since he was illegal." In a written statement to SLED, Medina said she was originally promised $1,000 in exchange for a license, but that Guerra later changed the amount to $800, which Medina agreed to accept. Medina said she had only received $200 to date for the license.
SLED investigated the case at DMV's request and arrested Guerra and Medina. A press release from SLED states that Guerra and Medina could both face penalties of up to 10 years in prison or fines of up to $10,000 if convicted.
Under the laws of most states, including South Carolina, undocumented immigrants are unable to obtain driver's licenses and other basic forms of identification. Recently, California lawmakers passed a law that will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, but The New York Times reports that the move has been met with some skepticism by the state's Latino community, some of whom worry that it will be a trap for deportation.