A Special Session Over Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants?

Lots of iffy reasons have been given for calling special legislative sessions in the past, but the Star Tribune editorial board’s wacky suggestion today will be hard to top in the future. The paper urged the governor to call back legislators to rectify a provision in the budget bill he signed into law preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses. DL

It seems Dayton has come down with another acute case of signer’s remorse over the driver’s license ban that he agreed to as part of the budget compromise.  Readers will need to suspend disbelief as the paper tries to make the case that “Minnesota’s roads will be safer if all immigrants have driver’s licenses.”

In a letter to legislative leaders last week, Dayton sought that change in the interest of public safety.

On this matter, the governor is right. All Minnesotans will be safer if more motorists are tested and trained before getting behind the wheel. As law enforcement and transportation agencies confirm, having so many untrained drivers on the road brings greater risk of crashes.

The editorial writer acknowledges but brushes off concerns shared by many Minnesotans over potential voter fraud, homeland security risks and rewarding individuals who violate our laws. It’s all about public safety, but on the roads.

…In this case, public safety takes precedence and the other concerns can be addressed.

An estimated 90,000 undocumented immigrants live in Minnesota. Most come here to work and many end up driving to their jobs. Thousands of undocumented people are driving U.S. roads. That’s why 12 other states have rules that allow them legal driver status. Those states understand the dangers posed by having so many unlicensed motorists.

The paper goes on to insist the fact illegal immigrants cannot obtain a Minnesota driver’s license is a prime example of what’s wrong with immigration policy.  To its credit, the Star Tribune did not prohibit reader comments in this case, as so often happens on similar issues that straddle the line of political correctness.

That is the funniest thing I think I have ever heard! You are here illegally and should be arrested and deported as you are a criminal and violating our laws so as a reward we want to give you a drivers license! You can’t make this stuff up! Wow!!!!


Apply for citizenship.  If not accepted please go home.  Drivers license for citizens only.  Thanks for visiting.

This is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard floated. If an illegal immigrant is in the license bureau and he is known to be Here illegally, he needs to be sent home. Why have laws and rules at all, if the are being circumvented systematically by our officials. Obviously ridiculous!


But the overall reader comments suggest Dayton and the Star Tribune aren’t exactly on the same page as many Minnesotans when it comes to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.