Commentary: Driver’s licenses for all is all-access pass for potential terrorists, criminals
This is an Opinion page item submitted by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
By State Sen. Torrey Westrom, Alexandria, MN
The Democrat majority continues to bulldoze a wide range of controversial policies through committee and onto the Minnesota Senate floor for a vote. And a very controversial piece of legislation, which recently passed out of the Senate with party-line votes, is the Democrats’ Driver’s Licenses for All bill .
This legislation provides state-issued driver’s licenses to immigrants who are in Minnesota illegally. And when this legislation becomes law, anyone can receive a driver’s license that is indistinguishable from a legal citizen’s standard Class D license. This means that there will be absolutely zero precautions to stop potential terrorists and criminals from using this ID in a variety of official capacities. For example, an individual could use this license to get onto military bases and into federal buildings across the nation, and potentially, airplanes.
Further, when combined with an automatic voter registration effort, the Driver’s Licenses for All bill severely compromises our elections. This is because the extreme Democrat bill does not require data to be shared with other agencies, like the Secretary of State. In fact, this legislation prohibits such data from being shared, making it even more troubling and fraught with election security concerns and outright fraud.
Additionally, it’s estimated that 81,000 immigrants currently live in our state illegally. And as a testifier indicated during a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, it’s anticipated that 20% of them will apply for this new driver’s license option in the first year. And as a result, legal taxpaying residents will find it even more difficult to schedule a timely exam for new drivers to get their licenses. Over the past two years, the waiting period to schedule such an exam has already been long, and the Driver’s Licenses for All bill will only make this worse, so beware!
During the extensive floor debate, Senate Republicans offered a number of amendments to address these many concerns. Yet Democrats did not accept any of our proposals to add simple safeguards. We can all agree that we want safer roads. However, why couldn’t we find a way to achieve this goal without opening our state to fraud and abuse?