Bill to allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses passes in Senate committee

Kelsey Shirriff

A bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain a Minnesota driver's license passed a Senate panel on Monday, according to Minnesota Public Radio. 

The bill passed the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee 10-7 with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans opposing it. The House Transportation Policy Committee endorsed a similar bill last week.

Minnesota would be the fifth state to give illegal immigrants legal drivers licenses if the bill is signed into law. 

Democrats say the bill would promote safety in the state because immigrants would have to pass driving tests, and would be encouraged to by auto insurance. Republicans say that the bill could lead to fradulent voting on Election Day.

"We have to tread carefully here," said Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake. "…to make sure that we're not opening this up too broadly."