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Two bills made fast progress this week in the Minnesota House and appear to be on a collision course if they both become law. The first grants driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and the second automatically adds everyone who has a driver’s license to the voter rolls. No one seemed to be able to assure Minnesotans that people ineligible to vote won’t use their new driver’s licenses to register and cast a ballot in our elections.
Driver’s licenses for all
Let’s just admit it. A bill to allow illegal immigrants to apply for and receive driver’s licenses amounts to Minnesota collectively giving up on the immigration problem plaguing our state and nation. Solving immigration is hard. Closing the border is hard. Designing an amnesty plan that rewards immigrants for completing the legal steps necessary for citizenship is hard. It’s easier to skip that part and go right to the easy discussion: should people living, working, and driving among us in Minnesota have driver’s licenses? Of course!
The entire discussion glosses over the illegal status of immigrants and jumps right to “We value the contributions of immigrants.” Of course we value the contribution of immigrants. That’s not the question. The question is how many immigrants are we allowing into our state and country and what is the process for becoming a citizen? While giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants may appear to be a logical and compassionate solution to a very real problem, it ignores the larger question and will make things worse in the long run. But political expediency, by definition, never considers the long run.
Even the business lobby in Minnesota has given up on immigration reform and testified in favor of this bill. In doing so, they admitted out loud in committee that their member businesses are relying on illegal immigrants for their workforce. Anyone who can legally work in Minnesota today can also legally get a driver’s license. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and other business groups testified that their members are regularly violating federal law. Every legal employment process begins with federal form I-9 from the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The employee signs an attestation swearing:
I am aware that federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fines for false statements or use of false documents in connection with the completion of this form. I attest, under penalty of perjury, that I am 1. A citizen of the United States 2. A noncitizen national of the United States 3. A lawful permanent 4. An alien authorized to work.
The employer also signs the form, swearing:
I attest, under penalty of perjury, that (1) I have examined the document(s) presented by the above-named employee, (2) the above-listed document(s) appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee named, and (3) to the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States.
It’s clear from testimony on this bill that employers and employees are routinely ignoring this attestation.
Automatic voter registration
Speaking of attestation, that’s a key part of another bill moving fast this week, one that provides automatic voter registration for everyone who gets a driver’s license. Democrats supporting both bills brushed off concerns that illegal immigrants receiving driver’s licenses would be able to register and vote. The driver’s license bill specifically prohibits the Department of Public Safety from sharing this information with any other agency, including the Secretary of State, preventing the cross-checking of new licensees with the voter database. House Democrats are relying completely on the honor system to prevent a non-citizen from cancelling out your vote.
According to bill author Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL-Minneapolis), “There are lifelong, permanent immigration consequences” if you falsely sign the oath before voting. But are there? How many illegal immigrants are being deported from Minnesota in the Walz/Biden regime? Even if someone was deported to Mexico, what would stop them from immediately crossing the southern border and returning to Minnesota? The whole conversation ignores the fact that over 200,000 illegal immigrants crossed the border just last month.
Republicans tried to amend the bill to at least make the driver’s license for illegals look different or include the words “Not for voting purposes” so election workers could tell if anyone tried to register to vote. But it was rejected after Rep. Gomez argued, “We’re not going to give people a second-class driver’s license.” Why not? It is, by definition, a different class driver’s license that cannot be used for anything beyond driving. Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega (DFL-St. Paul) remarked during the hearing that “Folks are trying to follow the law, not break it.” But the very reason “folks” can’t get a driver’s license is because they have already broken the law.
Instead of relying on assurances from Democrats that illegal immigrants won’t commit voter fraud, perhaps we should listen to and believe the direct testimony of Angelica Bello, who warned committee members that, “We are voting. Our people are voting. If you don’t pass this bill, people are going to vote you all out.” Rep. Walter Hudson (R-Albertville) tweeted out this snippet from her testimony:
Is a motion to adjourn in order?
The first bill to cross the finish line and be signed by Gov. Walz was a tax conformity bill that will align the Minnesota tax code with the federal tax code, making filing easier and simpler for Minnesotans and marginally cheaper. The bill has a net tax reduction of $104 million. Good start. Is a motion to adjourn in order?
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