Controversial bill allowing illegal immigrants to get Minnesota driver's licenses advances

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"We would be able to take our children to a hospital without having the fear that somebody could take us away at that moment when our kids are in need," an illegal immigrant who supports the bill told the AP.
If DFLers on the House and Senate Transportation Policy Committees have their way, Minnesota will soon become the fifth state allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license.

SEE ALSO: Albert Lea sign controversy: "Deport Illegals" message sparks protest

Yesterday, on a party-line 10-7 vote, the Senate committee approved a bill to that end. The House committee approval a companion bill last week.

Supporters cite the public safety benefits such legislation would provide, while critics, such as our old friend Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, are concerned the bill could open the door to voter fraud.

MPR backgrounds the proposal:
Current Department of Public Safety rules require applicants to furnish proof of identification using documents only citizens and lawful immigrants would possess.

An administrative rule change under the Pawlenty administration in 2003 added: "The department shall not issue a driver's license, permit, or identification card if an individual has no lawful admission status to the United States."

The bill now under consideration at the Legislature would allow identification issued by another country to be acceptable proof of identity.
The bill's chief author in the House is Rep. Karen Clark, D-Minneapolis. She's also one half of the tandem leading this session's push for marriage equality.

"When people do not have a driver's license, that means they do not have insurance. And we've had plenty of instances in Minnesota where people, you know, have a problem, have an accident," Clark told MPR. "They don't have insurance, everybody suffers. The whole community suffers. This is a public safety issue for the people involved but also for the whole community."

But Kiffmeyer expressed concern illegal immigrants could use driver's license to commit voter fraud.

The bill "raises grave concerns about these things happening," she said.

Indeed, according to an AP report, other states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses have encountered problems, including applicants frequently using false addresses to fulfill residency requirements.

On Twitter, one DFL supporter, looking forward to 2014, said he "can see the hit lit. from here" if the DFL continues to push the bill foward.

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29 comments
chicopaco
chicopaco

here are some facts about this issue, 

Economy

Immigrants boost tax revenue and enlarge taxpayer base

  • •In 2010 the Latino buying power in Minnesota totaled $ 5.1 billion. Source 1

  • •Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $ 1.6 billion and employed 5,970 people in Minnesota. Source 1

  • •If all unauthorized immigrant were removed from Minnesota, the state would lose $ 4.4 billion in economic activity, $2.0 billion in gross state product and approximately 24,299 jobs. Source 1

  • •We all win, businesses will be better equipped to recruit and retain workers, workers will have the ability have

    access and mobility to jobs. We can help to create financial stability in our communities of color. Minnesota’s future

    Immigrants and their children are fundamental to secure a better future for all Minnesotans

  • As baby boomers retire, immigrants will increasingly be critical for continued economic growth and ensuring a steady flow of new workers.

  • The U.S. needs new taxpayers to help fund Social Security and Medicare and new workers to fill retirees’ positions and provide health care services. Source 2

    Other facts

  • Recent legislature increasing access to driver’s license passed in Illinois. Three more states have always offered driver’s license to everyone: New Mexico, Utah and Washington

  • During prior administrations to Governor Tim Pawlenty, including Arnie Carlson, IDs & Driver’s License were available to everyone.

  • On February 10, 2013, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution supporting Driver’s License for All.

  • The Minneapolis and St. Paul Police departments, and several other cities in Minnesota, have long supported the idea

    of documenting the people who reside and drive in their cities. This is in part because, among other things, it will

    reduce the amount of time officers spend dealing with minor issues, such as traffic violations. Source 1, Immigrant Policy Center 2010
    Source 2 Council of the Americas 2013

llego_xtreme
llego_xtreme

Oh God, please give some pure light to this people that are so unhappy, they still dont understand that they are just blind, if they were the ones that had to deal with this they wouldnt be saying all this crap, we are humans, some are more lucky than others, some people are rich and some people are really poor, some people have to leave their own country to be able to have a better life, many people dont get this: Have you ever realize all the sacrifices immigrants have to make to be here?? the most of them have to leave their own families behind and they have to work in the kind of job you dont wanna do in this country, as you people can see the most of the cookers at the restaurants are immigrants and other hard jobs where they dont get pay enough for what they do, now you guys are talking shit about this situation, i just think you are idiots ( they ones against immigrants '' illegals like you call it '', Anyhow, im happy to see many immigrants driving a better car that the car you probably drive, how do i know this? i know many of them, i dont think you are saying crap because they want the same rights that you have i actually think you are jealous!! lol  as you guys know if someone is happy with their own lives they dont give a f!@#k about this crap that you are saying about immigrants, you should know that they are  not the problem, you are the problem and keep on mind that every time you people say something bad about them i would say this so pay attention:   '' Toilet paper please!!! This person is spilling shit out of his mouth'' lol , So How you doing! lol oh Man, i cant wait to see all this good people ( immigrants) get their status fix so they stop suffering and to see you eat your shit, good thing is that this beautiful country is taking the right actions, slowly but they are doing it lol Y VIVA MEXICO CABRONES !! You like or not heheh this is the country of freedom  and even when i am still learning this beautiful language i can defend my self.   
  Immigrants you are doing great, keep up with the good work and show to others what you are capable of..  

                                                          Jose.                              

 PD

 (i used to be in their shoes but enjoying my freedom now so how you doing! lol !  ( im driving a brand new BMW by the way and have a pretty decent job ;-)  )..    God bless america and to their good people.

keny1
keny1

"We would be able to take our children to a hospital without having the fear that somebody could take us away at that moment when our kids are in need," an illegal immigrant who supports the bill told the AP.

Yes, and when you arrive at that Hospital, the tax payers will be paying for your free medical care. And when you return to your free Section 8 housing that the DFL has granted you, we are paying for that shit too. Here is a hint: If you want to be a legal citizen, go through the same channels that everyone else has. No, you are NOT entitled to anything. People died for the right to come to America, and you think that just because you have the skill to jump a fence that you are entitled to a free ride? NO. You are a criminal. If I jumped the fence and tried to get into Mexico, I would be facing a life sentence in jail. I would get no drivers license. And neither should you. But the DFL is on your side. Just remember one thing: When you are granted your drivers licence, remember to vote. Early. And Often. The DFL is depending on you..............................

Lisa
Lisa

What part of "illegal immigrant" does this Legislature not understand?

Are they so desperate for new voters that that they will turn our normal laws inside out to ensure their own political futures.

This issue ought to go to a public vote.

There are a lot of countries out there that I would also like to go to  - to stay, hang out, work, get residency, get public benefits - - BUT I DON'T GET TO DO THAT! They have laws, too, that I must respect. I have to emigrate legally - or not at all. And so do they when they try to land here. I know far too many immigrants who did it all exactly as they were asked to do - - and they are exasperated at the thought of rewarding those law breakers.

Lori Smith
Lori Smith

What part of ILLEGAL is not understood? Too harsh?? OK, what part of UNdocumented is not understood? Either way, this just doesn't make sense.

Jean Claude Cau
Jean Claude Cau

They have plenty of documentation. My favorite is the SNAP Visa card.

Sammy L Cater
Sammy L Cater

no...undocumented crap, nah that doesnt sound right, illegal immigrant. there that is what it is, and that is how you say it

keny1
keny1

Un-motherfucking-believable. 

D.p. Setzepfandt
D.p. Setzepfandt

This makes no sense to me but why would a bill like this even be considered for the floor? Doesn't the word illegal throw a red flag? What the hell is happening to our leaders of this great state?

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Are you really still saying "illegal immigrants"? I'm pretty sure it's proper to say "undocumented". Step up your journalism game.

Daniel Gavin
Daniel Gavin

They should pull the same thing they did for the marijuana stamp act. Bring your pot t the court house to get the stamp so you can legally own it. Then when you get there, pot in hand, and DONT have the stamp, they toss you in jail. Except in this case they put you on a greyhound to alberta....or juarez....or wisconsin....

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

Or you could make harsher penalties for illegals caught driving. Execution on sight would be an incentive to stay off the road.

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

...or we can keep it the way it is and they can drive with no license and no insurance. Does that sound better?

Paul Gerold
Paul Gerold

The Democratic party is a parasite that has no objection to killing It's host.

llego_xtreme
llego_xtreme

Oh one more thing, this country used to be leaded by indian people and part of USA  used to be part of mexico too, do some research and find out in what part of the story you became part of this country and you will find out that WE WERE HERE BEFORE YOU. Shame on me if i'm a liar.

green23
green23

@keny1"If I jumped the fence and tried to get into Mexico, I would be facing a life sentence in jail."

No, you most assuredly would *not* be facing a sentence of any kind. You would be deported back to the U.S.

Onan
Onan

@keny1  - To be part of the Section 8 program you have to be a citizen or a noncitizen with “eligible immigration status.” Eligible immigrants include noncitizens who are permanent legal residents or who have official status as refugees, asylum seekers, or lawful temporary residents.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your spittle-infused rant.

keny1
keny1

@Lisa It's a fucking slap in the face to anyone who ever immigrated here legally, and more importantly,  to the unknown number of people who desperately want to come here and will do anything within legal means to do so, but are turned down. 

But you nailed it RIGHT ON THE HEAD. The DLF will stoop to ANYTHING to get votes. Even if it means rewarding those who break our laws. And the even sadder part? The white guilt Liberals who are brainwashed by these idiots EMBRACE this type of legislation. Little do they know that they are only cutting their own throats. Because it doesn't matter if you are a Liberal or a Republican, if you are a tax payer, YOU ARE PAYING FOR THIS FUCKING BULLSHIT!

Southsider
Southsider

@keny1 get over it.  they're here.  they're driving.  might as well make sure they can pass a drivers exam.  too logical?  i suppose

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Um...He is right ya know. You probably want him to take pills that are paid for by someone else too.

keny1
keny1

@Southsider Well, I guess with your line of thinking......they're here....might as well let them vote too! I mean....what the fuck, you know! Let's let them run for office too....I mean....after all.....they're here anyway!!!  In fact, why don't we just open the borders and let anyone come in!  I mean......they're coming in anyway!!  As Hilary Clinton would say, 

"WHAT DIFFERENCE AT THIS POINT DOES IT MAKE????!!!!!"

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@k2yeb The babbling lunatic is never right.  Illegal immigration is a con by racist assholes.  Our economy takes advantage of illegal immigrants cheap labor.   You can't pretend you are the prostitute when you are the pimp.  Stupid racist trash like you and keny want to treat hard working human beings like slaves.  An illegal immigrant is a human being.  They deserve to be treated that way.  This type of program saves money and causes less problems.  keny is an evil and stupid person that only has bad things to say about the hard working poor Mexicans escaping violence to make America stronger, he never has anything bad to say about the people exploiting them.  None of you conservative assholes do.

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