March 21, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 21, 2016) — As the legislative session nears its deadline, ISAIAH, Mesa Latina and the Minnesota AFL-CIO issued a joint statement representing a broad and diverse coalition of religious, business, labor and community organizations that support the restoration of access to driver’s licenses to hard working immigrant families.

“There is no organized opposition to this reform. In spite of this, the House GOP REAL-ID bill is an attack on hard-working immigrant families by slamming the door on access to driver’s licenses.

Until rules were changed in 2003 under administrative process, it was not necessary to show immigration status to receive a Minnesota driver’s license. Since that time, too many families are forced to make impossible choices between driving without a license to provide for their families, or living in extreme hardship. This results in many unlicensed drivers on our roads, increasing safety risks and the number of uninsured motorists, harming everyone in our state.

The House language would put anti-immigrant language into statute. This language is completely unnecessary for compliance with the REAL ID requirements. Adoption of this language would consign tens of thousands of immigrant families to continue to live in constant fear of being ripped apart by our obsolete and dysfunctional immigration system.

With Trump being the presumptive nominee, Minnesota House GOP leadership appears to be doubling down on the strategy by bashing immigrant families in its REAL ID bill. This is unacceptable leadership that panders to those who are motivated by hate and fear, rather than love and hope. We are confident that love, unity and hope in our future will prevail.”

ISAIAH is a statewide organization of clergy, congregations and people of faith working together for racial and economic justice in Minnesota.

Mesa Latina is a movement that seeks to build a better future for Latinos who live in Minnesota through personal and collective empowerment.

Minnesota AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing over 300,000 members of over 1,000 local unions throughout Minnesota. The mission of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.

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