Michigan Officials Back Drivers’ Licenses for Illegal Aliens
By David Jaroslav | August 2019
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) surprised some observers with her recent comments in support of allowing illegal aliens to apply for drivers’ licenses. However, it appears strong opposition has sprung up and there’s a good chance that the Wolverine State won’t be joining the 13 other states that have embraced this public policy..
In a video released by the open-borders group Movimiento Cosecha, Whitmer said, “We need to ensure that everyone’s got a path to getting a license, so they’ve got identification … That’s something that’s important to me, it’s important to our economy, and it’s important to the people of Michigan.”
She added that “fortunately,” two more of Michigan’s Democratic statewide officials agreed.
Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) confirmed through a spokesperson that she “supports efforts to move legislation forward to allow [illegal aliens] to obtain driver licenses for reasons of public safety”, while Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) said she “stands with the governor in support of changing the law so that all individuals working and residing in our state may obtain a state ID or a driver’s license for use in Michigan.”
But the Republican-controlled state legislature’s quick public rejection of the idea makes clear they intend to stop it. The Michigan Senate Republicans pointed out in a tweet that “[i]n 2008, then-Senator Gretchen Whitmer and every member of the Michigan Senate voted against issuing driver's licenses to anyone in our state illegally” to which Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) added, “I stand with Senator Gretchen Whitmer, who voted against issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants in 2008.”
A bill has not yet been introduced to try to turn Gov. Whitmer’s wishes into reality, but since Michigan’s legislature is essentially in session year-round, and bills filed in 2019 will “carry over” to 2020. It’s probably only a matter of time.