Content provided by Bluestem Prairie and republished with permission. For more in-depth news from Greater Minnesota, check out Bluestemprairie.com.
Commenting on a Facebook post by Minnesota state representative Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) deploring bipartisan bills (HF97 and HF98) to allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses, Minnesota Child Protection League co-founder Renee Doyle lamented that the measures received an informational hearing in a House committee, while a bill to roll back the Minnesota State High School League’s trans-inclusive athletic policy wasn’t heard at all.
Doyle commented that the contrast made her “crazy upset with the House Leadership!”
With that much crazy, it’s no wonder her anger about LGBT equality spills over the borders into xenophobia.
The former congressional staff member for Michele Bachmann commented:
This is stunningly stupid. Thank you Eric for standing solidly against this. Tell me why a Republican House would entertain driver’s licenses at the cost of our own citizens when illegals will be able to vote with their driver’s license and collect entitlements? Tell me why we will do this for illegals an their children, but we will not pass a bill to protect the physical privacy of our own children in bathrooms and showers in our schools. I am crazy upset with the House Leadership!
Doyle followed this comment with another:
Leadership meaning Kurt Daudt. And shame on you Rep. Hamilton.
The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that Speaker Daudt does not support the bill:
. . .Speaker Kurt Daudt, who’d have to clear the bill for a vote in the House, said Wednesday he does not support it.
The licenses, considered to be a public safety measure by advocates, many law enforcement agencies, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, would be marked as being for driving purposes only. The intent is to make sure that people driving on Minnesota’s roads understand our state’s traffic laws.
Mila Koumpilova reported in the Star Tribune article, Supporters of immigrant driver’s licenses ramp up campaign, but opposition remains:
Supporters of a bill to grant driving privileges to immigrants living in the state illegally gave the Minnesota House transportation committee a rare standing-room-only audience and almost an hour of tearful testimony Wednesday.
But the bill’s prospects remain murky. The proposal, which stalled in three recent legislative sessions, enjoys unprecedented Republican backing in the House and a stronger show of support from law enforcement. A version passed in the Senate transportation committee last week.
The proposal still faces opposition from legislators who say the licenses could enable voter fraud and would reward those who have broken the country’s immigration laws. The transportation committee’s hearing was information-only, and no vote has been slated. Speaker Kurt Daudt, who’d have to clear the bill for a vote in the House, said Wednesday he does not support it.
To address concerns, supporters are now pitching a new driving card, which would feature the words “For driving only” on the back. They argue their proposal would boost safety for all Minnesotans.
“This is about safe roads and insured drivers,” said lead author Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake. “I want to take the politics out of it.”
Twelve states and territories allow residents to get a license regardless of their immigration status, a fourfold increase since 2012. About 90,000 people without lawful immigration status are estimated to live in Minnesota. . . .
Doyle isn’t the only leader in Minnesota’s anti-LGBT leadership community to raise the point on Lucero’s post. Republican political operative Andy Parrish–another former Bachmann staff member–commented:
I’m more pissed off that this gets a hearing but biological bathrooms and castle doctrine cant [sic].
Well then. Perhaps Parrish might ask why bill co-sponsor and Public Safety Committee Chair Tony Cornish declined to give the latter a hearing in his own committee, as Rachel Stassen-Berger reported in the Pioneer Press.
Neither Doyle not Parrish go as far as Senate District 45 Republican activist Susan Carpenter, however. She’s not concerned about the transphobic bill as simply removing Representative Hamilton from office. She comments:
Good for you, Eric Lucero! I was there and found the testimony incredible, and Rod Hamilton is certainly not a Conservative. You have to look at the groups who were there lobbying for this. Isaiah, they were bog [sic] against Voter ID. Safe Roads MN was there. I am not familiar with them, but One State One License was another group that was there, so what does that tell you? That tells me that they will push to get this on Driver’s Licenses and then bring forth their outrage about how RACIST it is. One State, one License. Think about that group being there (people wearing stickers). There is a hidden agenda as usual and none of it is good! Rep Hamilton should resign the way he carried on.
A hidden agenda! Scary! Here’s the Facebook page for “One State, One License,” which seems fairly up front about what it wants. Like the Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton likely wants employees to be able to drive to work. It’s not the Bavarian League of the Illuminati or whatever the bug up the bazoo of the moment is on the crazy upset right.
Bluestem Prairie frequently is highly critical of Representative Hamilton, but this isn’t one of the issues we’ll scold him about. As for his leaving office, we think that should come about by retirement or defeat at the polls.
Photo: Representative Rod Hamilton (center right in jacket and blue shirt) and members of the One State, One License Coalition, via the OSOL Coalition’s Facebook page.