Apparently Michigan started off the new year by disallowing undocumented migrants to obtain drivers license. Prior to this Michigan was one of the few states that would issue licenses to migrants. Sadly, we got to see how far this can go when Attorney General Mike Cox decided to go one thousand better and essentially state that only Michigan permanent residents would be allowed licenses. Of course this infuriated everyone accept possibly the Michigan anti-immigrant groups who probably go so far as to consider anyone outside of Michigan a foreigner. This may sound silly, but with states and cities issuing their own immigration laws state sovereignty and states rights are brought up by some anti-immigrant groups.
Attorney General Mike Cox represents the worst of those in government attempting to pander to the anti-immigrant groups. His desire to make it unlawful for anyone but permanent Michigan residents could obtain drivers licenses is absurd and truly not in the best interest of anyone. Understanding the fury of most residents of Michigan the governor stepped in to try and correct the situation.
Two days after Christmas, while Lansing was silent and largely deserted for the holiday season, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox issued an opinion indicating that only permanent Michigan residents may get a driver’s license. It appeared to say that people living here legally but on a temporary basis couldn’t get one.
Most Lansing sources I talked with figure that Cox was doing little more than pandering to the anti-immigrant wing of the GOP. I tried to ask Cox’s PR guy about this, but my call was not returned.
Epolito cited more than 375,000 employees who were in Michigan on perfectly legal visas, who could not effectively conduct their business without being able to drive a car.
Meanwhile, Gov. Jennifer Granholm urged the Legislature to find a fix to overturn the Cox opinion. Acting with unusual speed and bipartisanship, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation that allowed foreign citizens living temporarily in Michigan to obtain a driver’s license. The governor promptly signed the bill last Friday.
Previous post on this. (link)
Here’s the original story detailing the ruling to no longer issue licenses to undocumented migrants.
Illegal immigrants to be refused Michigan driver’s licenses – WSBT
By TIM MARTIN, Associated Press Writer
By Beth Boehne
Story Created: Jan 21, 2008 at 2:42 PM EST
Story Updated: Jan 21, 2008 at 5:54 PM EST
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Illegal immigrants no longer will be able to get Michigan driver’s licenses starting Tuesday under a policy that requires more documentation to get behind the wheel.