Yes to Real ID, no to anti-immigration

There has been much debate over Real ID and how to implement it in Minnesota. Real ID refers to federal standards about issuing and making driver’s licenses that came about in 2005. If said licenses are used for air travel and access to federal facilities, they need to be complaint. There is no doubt that Minnesota needs Real ID in order to help facilitate domestic flights and visits to federal facilities like military bases. However, the attempt to tie in immigration issues by many Minnesota Republican lawmakers, specifically the attempt to cut off undocumented people from getting non-compliant Real ID driver’s licenses, is unnecessary and harmful.

To cut off undocumented people from accessing driver’s licenses is not only morally reprehensible but a threat to Minnesota’s economic well-being and public safety. Our roads could be less safe to drive on if undocumented people are in a situation where they need to drive to work to make ends meet but are unable to get proper certification and training. Thus putting more people on the road at risk. Not only that, but many of these people are also much more vulnerable to racial profiling. If they are pulled over without a license, they may get deported and a family may lose a breadwinner. Many portions of the Minnesota economy, like dairy, are heavily dependent on undocumented labor and will suffer without said labor.

This unacceptable version of Real ID has unfortunately passed the House. It has been temporarily halted in the Senate thanks to it failing to pass during its third hearing. However, it has been tabled, so it may come back. Contact your representatives and senators to tell them that this version of Real ID is unacceptable.

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