Governor Injects Immigration Issue into Real ID Debate
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is pressing lawmakers to grant driver's licenses to immigrants living in Minnesota illegally as part of the effort to comply with stronger federal ID requirements.
The Legislature has struggled for years to comply with Real ID, which will require upgraded IDs for domestic flights in January 2018. Dayton's position adds another possible hurdle.
It's a non-starter for Republicans. The House passed a Real ID compliance bill last week explicitly banning driver's licenses from going to those immigrants.
But the Democratic governor says immigrants driving without a license or insurance makes it a public safety issue. Dayton said Wednesday he's urging Senate Democrats this week to "hold together" and insist that the law expand IDs.
Top Senate Republicans say Dayton is jeopardizing the bill's passage.