BROOKLYN PARK, Minnesota (KARE) -- A bill that would open the possibility of undocumented immigrants to a Minnesota driver's license went before a state legislative committee on Wednesday.
The bill would ignore immigration status in applications for driver's licenses.
The concept of allowing illegal immigrants to have legal access to Minnesota roads got a definite approval from Immigration activists, including Abdullah Kiatamba, Executive Director of the nonprofit African Immigrant Services group.
"If this person has no criminal record, this person is no threat to the security of the community or the country," said Kiatamba. "So, the case is not strong enough to stop them from driving because there is more to gain than there are risks to this person driving."
Kiatamba argued that undocumented immigrants often are the only transportation available to large extended families of legal immigrants.
"Sometimes, someone who does not have legal status is actually, having four, five kids," said Kiatamba. "Some of these kids are American Citizens."
On the negative side of the bill is Rep. Steve Drazkowski, a Republican from Mazeppa.
"It is a radical move to strip out a full six pages in administrative law that provide us those protections that we need to make certain that people are here legally and that they either have citizenship or other proven address," said Drazkowski.
Drazkowski said it is important to maintain the "integrity" of Minnesota Driver's licenses.
"What this does is it rips out the integrity that we have already in our drivers' license system and makes us much more vulnerable to abuse of our system and abuse of taxpayer resources of security and others, our voting system, here in Minnesota that could be exploited by people who obtain those driver's licenses without that integrity behind them," he added.