JUNE 24, 2009
As part of an innovative new budget plan, Wisconsin legislators are on the verge of passing laws granting illegal immigrants special driver’s licenses and discounted tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities.
The Badger State’s soon-to-be approved 2009-2011 budget bills also include a measure that requires local police departments to document the race of people they pull over to determine if racial profiling is occurring.
With at least three official illegal alien sanctuaries—Madison, Racine and Dane County—Wisconsin has a history of protecting and accommodating residents who are not in the U.S. legally. In fact, a few years ago the state’s housing authority launched a first-in-the-nation program to help illegal immigrants get home mortgages.
For decades illegal immigrants were able to obtain driver’s licenses in Wisconsin but in 2005 legislators rescinded the perk in response to a federal law (Real ID Act) requiring states to verify the authenticity of every driver’s license applicant by 2011. The new verification process forces states to require that documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, submitted to get the card are legitimate and that the applicant is in the United States legally
Wisconsin will become the nation’s second state (Utah was the first) to offer illegal immigrants, who won’t meet the new federal security standards, special driver’s licenses. It will join a handful of states—including Texas, California, Maryland and New York—in offering illegal immigrants discounted tuition at public colleges.
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