The debate over illegal immigration tops the agenda at the Minnesota Capitol today as the state House votes on a controversial drivers license bill. It would allow a person to obtain a Minnesota drivers license or I-D card without providing proof that they’re in the U-S legally. Backers of the measure say undocumented immigrants are driving anyway without licenses and insurance, and changing current laws will improve safety on Minnesota roads and allow immigrants to get to work. Hundreds are expected at the Capitol to support the measure. Opponents warn it will hamper enforcement of federal immigration laws and make it easier for someone to remain in the country illegally.
The state used to allow such residents to obtain drivers licenses, but former Governor Tim Pawlenty stopped it in 2003, citing efforts to prevent terrorism. Pew Research Center estimates 95-thousand immigrants are living in Minnesota illegally.