Written Testimony of Jason Adkins in Support of Immigrant Driver’s Licenses, H.F. 238

H.F. 238 (Versión en PDF)
Mayo 16, 2014

Buenos días. Mi nombre es Jason Adkins y soy director ejecutivo de la Conferencia Católica de Minnesota, la voz de las políticas públicas de la iglesia católica en Minnesota. MCC wishes to express its strong support for HF 348, the Driver’s Licenses for All bill.

Our broken immigration system needs to be fixed. But in the absence of immigration reform at the federal level, it is important that we as a State take concrete steps to improve the lives of aspiring citizens in our community.

A provisional driver’s license will make it easier for undocumented persons to do the things that most of us take for granted, such as going to work, buying groceries, and attending church. People live in fear that they will face jail, detainment, or even deportation if they are caught driving without a license. They wonder if every trip they make to work to support their families will be the last time they see their children.

Beyond improving the lives of undocumented persons, the Minnesota Catholic Conference believes this policy enhances the common good of all Minnesotans. Creating provisional driver’s licenses can improve public safety by ensuring all drivers have basic skills, and foster opportunities for economic development by increasing the mobility of workers.

I sometimes hear that policies such as theserewardlawbreakers and do so at the expense ofdeservingcitizens. Sin lugar a dudas, citizenship carries with it both rights and responsibilities. But a provisional driver’s license is hardly arewardfor lawbreaking. En su lugar, it is a prudent way of acknowledging that we have many aspiring citizens in our midst who have braved incredible hardship to come here and escape, en muchos casos, severe poverty. They are hardworking people with families, who pay taxes, and have built a life in our communities. And they will very likely be staying here, no matter what happens in Washington.

Por lo tanto, what are we going to do help them and their families? Otra vez, we don’t know when or how this broken system will be fixed. This bill allows Minnesota the opportunity to follow the biblical mandate and show hospitality to the stranger in our midst. Last year’s MN DREAM Act was one such step of which we can be justly proud. This is another. Please pass this bill.