The Senate Transportation Committee has tabled a discussion on the issue of granting immigrants Iowa drivers licenses. Senator Gene Fraise, a democrat from Fort Madison, helped make the decision. “We need to make sure we’re going this thing right,” Fraise says. He says that’s little comfort to people “sitting out there” who want to know whether they can get a drivers license. The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled the D-O-T had the right to deny drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Senator John Putney, a republican from Gladbrook, says there are all sorts of problems associated with giving illegal immigrants a drivers license. “There would be potential for fraudulent voter registration,” Putney says. But Senator Matt McCoy, a democrat from Des Moines, argued the roads would be safer if immigrants who have obtained a federal taxpayer I.D. number got a drivers license. McCoy says a license lets folks get insurance, and when immigrants buy insurance for their cars and trucks, they not only protect their own families who ride in those vehicles, they protect the motoring public in general. McCoy’s bill on the subject, though, has been put off indefinitely.
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