MINNESOTA- Recent legislation is helped lawmakers move one step closer to making Minnesota a sanctuary state.
According to Fox News, Minnesota lawmakers advanced legislation Friday that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, highlighting the debate in the state over immigration and access to social benefits.
“Immigrants, whether they are documented or undocumented, are Minnesotans. They are part of the fabric of our communities,” said Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “It is time that we helped take away this shadow of not having a driver’s license.”
The 74-52 vote came after nearly five hours of highly charged debate in the state’s Democrat-led House. The bill now advances to the Republican-controlled state Senate, where some say the plan would incentivize illegal immigration, voter fraud and reward people who violate the law, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
The bill would “undermine our current values,” GOP state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen said.
“Minnesota shouldn’t be in the business of incentivizing illegal behavior, and by allowing illegal and undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses, that’s exactly what our state would be doing,” he said.
Supporters argue that granting driver’s licenses to immigrants, regardless of their legal status, will lead to safer roads and let the estimated 95,000 undocumented immigrants living the state live and work with dignity.
“It’s common sense,” said Democratic Rep. Samantha Vang. “This will allow people to simply open a bank account, to drive safely on the road to their jobs, to their school.”
Republican Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said the bill is “one step closer to making Minnesota a sanctuary state.”