For more information contact: Bennett Smith 651-296-6422
Saint Paul, Minn. – Tonight the Minnesota House passed a bill (HF 3) to conform Minnesota identification cards to the federal ‘Real ID’ on a 72-58 vote. State Representative Carlos Mariani (DFL – St. Paul) released the following statement:
“Today the “People’s House” did not do the people’s work when it passed a flawed Republican Real ID driver’s license bill. I voted against this bill and I feel it is important in this age of tension over immigration issues to share why.
Minnesotan’s are rightfully asking that its legislature arrive at an agreement with the federal government to allow us to use our state driver’s license to travel by air and visit federal facilities including military bases where our loved ones proudly serve our nation.
This is a commonsense request and there actually is a simple “clean" Real ID bill that the Governor is anxious to sign and the Senate is moving.
Tragically, the House Republican majority has loaded their bill with anti-undocumented immigrant language, on which there is little consensus. Undocumented immigrants are mostly a valuable asset to Minnesota and their hard work makes us all stronger. But, regardless how one thinks about these immigrants - a simple fix to the Real ID should not be held hostage in order to deal with those issues.
I offered an amendment to free the bill from divisive, unnecessary language. Unfortunately, it failed. There is bipartisan desire to pass a clean bill without the divisive House Republican language.
There is a time and place for us to address immigration issues. The bill that fixes Real ID is not that place and it should not be held up so that one side of the immigration divide can prevail over the other while Minnesotans wait for relief from federal barriers to their freedoms.”