Driver’s licenses’ ‘status check’ is overkill

Although I understand that the state of Minnesota does not want to issue valid driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants (“Driver’s license ‘status check’ rule gains support in state House despite critics,” Jan. 29), the conspicuous “status check” seems to be an overkill. It seems to be an announcement to anybody inspecting the driver’s license to be cautious because the person is an immigrant.

This could lead to discrimination by not only the police, but also by the many people you are required to present your driver’s license to, including landlords and store clerks, to name just a few. Why doesn’t the state simply disallow the expiration date on the driver’s license to expire after the visa expiration?

I know this might disrupt Minnesota’s desire to make licenses expire on people’s birthday, but there is no pressing reason for this practice. In my former state of Illinois, licenses just expired so many years after they were first issued. Since the issue date is not on the license, this would give no reason to suspect a legal immigrant; while not allowing temporary visitors to have valid driver’s licenses after their visa expires.

Catherine Majumder
graduate student