New Hampshire House Votes To Give Illegals Driver’s Licenses
By Jennifer G. Hickey | March 21, 2019
On a mostly party-line vote (204-137), New Hampshire’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license without a Social Security number.
Just five Democrats joined Republicans to vote against HB 397, which would authorize “the issuance of drivers’ licenses for residents of New Hampshire who do not possess a social security card.”
The bill stipulates that in absence of a Social Security number, “a resident may prove his or her identity and age to the director by producing reliable official documentation of 2 forms of identification.”
According to the legislation, the documentation could include a current or expired alien registration card, employment authorization card, temporary resident card, or any other document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service; and/or Any other documentation issued by the government of the applicant’s country of birth.
The bill also included penalties for disclosure of any applicant information “to any government agency or official unless pursuant to a validly executed warrant issued by a state or federal judge.” A failure to comply could result in a fine of no more than $5,000 and may result in imprisonment of one to 3 years.
The irrationality of the measure was clear to some members.
“We are being asked to provide drivers licenses to illegal aliens — a group of people who have broken federal laws by either entering the country illegally or staying past their visas,” said Rep. Sherm Packard, R-Londonderry, told New Hampshire’s Union Leader.
“This same group of people have admittedly broken New Hampshire law every day by driving without a license and have admitted to doing so for years. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the safety of our roads,” he added.
Additionally, a GOP-sponsored bill to require the state to post citizenship information on a drivers’ license or state-issued ID failed by a 121-220 vote.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have made illegal aliens eligible for licenses.
The House vote was just the first hurdle. The bill must be passed in the Senate and then signed by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.