Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

by Emilce Rick, Minnesota Daily reader

For the past seven years, there has been a concerted effort to move forward a Minnesota bill that calls for action from legislators to grant undocumented immigrants equal rights to have a driver’s license. The campaign is now organized by “One State, One License Coalition,” which includes support from unions, organizations and other community members.
The reasons to support this bill are numerous. If undocumented immigrants are granted a driver’s license, the roads are going to be more secure because they will be required to pass the driver’s license test and purchase auto insurance. 
They will also have the ability to properly title a vehicle registration. Without the fear of legal repercussions (i.e. deportation), this segment of the population will be more likely to conform to state law. The driver’s license has many other implications in value because of its validity as a state-issued identification card. 
A few of these examples pertain to simple daily life, such as going to the doctor, opening a bank account, making medical decisions for family members and having access to a variety of services that require an identification form.
One benefit to law enforcement is the efficiency related to the difference between a six-minute traffic stop versus six hours because of the clarity of the documentation system proposed. 
This will save valuable taxpayer dollars in addition to allowing law enforcement resources to be freed up for more worthy causes that matter to the community. 
The immigrant rights activists keep promoting this important issue at the state Capitol with the hope that 2015 is going to be the year for undocumented immigrants to be able to have a driver’s license. 
This proposal makes sense for all Minnesotans and is designed to protect everyone’s safety.