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Push to give illegal aliens drivers licenses reaches Idaho

March 2, 2023

By Dorothy Moon
IDGOP Chairwoman

Two weeks ago, the Minnesota State Senate — a legislative chamber controlled by progressive Democrats — approved legislation to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses. It may surprise many that Republicans in Idaho’s State Senate made the same move as Minnesota’s progressive Democrats. Driver’s licenses for illegal aliens erodes the rights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“Green” card holders) and is another form of corporate welfare that harms the interests of taxpayers.

States issue driver’s licenses under the constitutional authority of the 10th Amendment. However, Congress enacted Real ID in 2005, creating standards for state-issued driver’s licenses, including evidence of lawful status. This new congressional requirement was designed to prevent valid identification from being used by terrorists, agents of foreign adversaries and those who have entered the country illegally.

The push to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses started in, of course, California. California’s effort — led by pro-open borders groups like La Raza, teachers’ unions, developers, multinational agribusiness corporations and Fortune 500 companies — was meant to ensure that the state’s ever-expanding illegal alien workforce could get access to welfare benefits, enroll in healthcare programs and eliminate employers’ cost of transporting illegal alien workers from their homes to job sites.

Since California’s original enactment, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. These states—including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington — are the most liberal jurisdictions in the Union. They also have some of the lowest-levels of native-born U.S. workforce participation.

That’s right: when you build an economy around cheap, exploitable illegal alien labor, domestic workers fall out of the labor market.

The more damning aspect of giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens is that it’s a taxpayer giveaway to businesses that want cheap labor but don’t want to pay the accessory costs that come with that cheap labor. Rather than give illegal alien laborers driver’s licenses, employers can provide transportation to and from job sites for these workers.

In these states, driver’s licenses for illegal aliens has also seen a precipitous increase in traffic fatalities and DUIs. It turns out that giving driver’s licenses to foreign nationals with limited familiarity with our laws or language increases the dangers to motorists who obey the law and understand the conventions of our country.

There are a number of politicians in Idaho who like to hector recent transplants to Idaho about what makes Idaho a great place to live, open a small business and raise a family. These politicians particularly like to remind Californians to “not forget why you left California and why you moved here.”

With some Idaho Republicans moving to give benefits to illegal aliens, maybe the California transplants in Idaho should remind Idaho’s lawmakers of how California ended up being a failed third-world state. California enacted an entire suite of benefits for illegal aliens — starting with driver’s licenses and now including voting rights, instate tuition, hiring preferences based on race and alienage and language privileges in schools and jobs — at the expense of working Americans.

Why would any Idaho Republican want to replicate California’s policies here in Idaho?

Dorothy Moon was elected to serve as the chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party in July of 2022. Moon served three terms in the Idaho Legislature as State Representative for District 8. Moon’s career in public service has focused on the advancement of individual liberties and reducing the size and scope of government.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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