The Pew Research Center estimated in 2016, Minnesota is home to about 95,000 undoucmented immigrants, which accounts for about 20 percent of Minnesota’s total immigrants. They also found that Minnesota’s manufacturing industry is the top place of employment for undocumented immigrants.
Representative Jeremy Munson (R- Lake Crystal) notes that this bill “does nothing to prevent the labor abuses of paying substandard wages and stealing wages from workers who cannot seek remedy from law enforcement due to their immigration status.” Adding that “it is shameful that Minnesota’s labor unions support this bill.”
The Catholic Bishops of Minnesota are also in support of this measure. “This is a moral imperative and one that is long overdue. May God inspire our legislators to feel the same,” Fr. Joseph Williams, pastor of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis, said at a press conference.
However, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R- Alexandria) points out that this bill puts Minnesota “in the business of incentivizing illegal behavior by allowing illegal and undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses.” Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) adds that the bill is just “one step closer to making Minnesota a sanctuary state.”
Minnesota is no stranger to widespread voter fraud, and Republicans are concerned that this bill could play into that problem by giving undocumented immigrants identification at the polls.
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