Michigan Bills Would Give Drivers’ Licenses to Illegal Aliens
By David Jaroslav | FAIR Take | November 2019
Legislators in Michigan have introduced bills that would allow illegal aliens to procure drivers’ licenses. Despite support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), there is a good chance these bills can be stopped by the Republican-majority state legislature. Already 14 states have passed driver’s licenses laws.
On October 31, State Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) surrounded by various open-borders groups held a press conference to push for her bill, Senate Bill (SB) 631, which gives illegal aliens driver’s licenses. Representative Alex Garza (D-Taylor) introduced the House companion bill, House Bill (HB) 5192. Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) introduced SB 632 and HB 5193 respectively which gives illegal aliens state ID cards. Granting driver’s licenses or ID cards to illegal aliens treats them as if they are lawfully present and facilitates illegal conduct. It is one of the most useful items to create the appearance of lawful presence and allows illegal aliens to continue to live and work in the state in violation of federal law.
Each of the bills would:
- Create a new category of drivers’ licenses and state ID cards for illegal aliens who can’t provide the documentation necessary to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005
- Provide a list of acceptable documents to prove identity, residence and age, including foreign consular ID cards, foreign passports, foreign drivers’ licenses, foreign birth certificates, foreign voter ID cards and receipts for asylum applications
- Require the Michigan Department of State (DOS), which issues and regulates Michigan drivers’ licenses and state ID cards, to adopt rules for verifying those identity and residence documents, “in consultation with appropriate interested parties including, but not limited to, law enforcement and immigrants’ rights representatives”
- Indicate on the new category of licenses and state ID cards that they are not valid for federal purposes
- Prohibit discrimination against anyone for holding the new licenses and state ID cards
- Prohibit law enforcement from detaining, arresting, penalizing or discriminating against anyone solely for holding the new licenses and state ID cards
- Make all information and documents collected to apply for the new licenses and state ID cards confidential and exempt from public records rules, meaning it would require a subpoena, warrant or other court order to disclose
- State that the new licenses and state ID cards do not grant voting rights to non-citizens.
Chang said over the past five years since she first started working on granting illegal aliens driver’s licenses she has seen support for the idea “exponentially increase.” Unsurprisingly, open border city and county boards in Kalamazoo, as well as the school board in Grand Rapids, have passed resolutions backing the idea and calling on the legislature to pass it.
Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), who has been leading the drive to enforce immigration law in Michigan by introducing anti-sanctuary legislation, says the drivers’ license bills are “problematic and will cause a lot of confusion among city clerks during elections.” He also added that he thinks Sen. Chang is “delusional” if she expects the driver’s licenses and ID bills to pass.
Given that Republicans outnumber Democrats 58-52 in the House and 22-16 in the Senate, it is unlikely the bills will pass. Sen. Chang has “said she will continue to push, adding that some GOP lawmakers understand the need for people to have a license or an ID.”