The Kalamazoo County Commission voted 6-5 to support Michigan House Bills to allow illegal immigrants access to drivers licenses and other state documents.  I believe this is supporting the enabling of criminal activity, do you? is reporting about this resolution.  Two Democrat Michigan Representatives, Harvey Santana and Stephanie Change introduced two bills in the Michigan House of Representatives which would allow illegal immigrants to apply for privileges without submitting proof of citizenship or immigration status.

The two bills are HB 5940 which would modify the section of the Michigan Vehicle Code relating to driver's licenses and HB 5941 which would modify the section relating to state identification cards.

If these bills were to pass Michigan would become the twelfth state which do not prohibit access to these types of privileges based on citizenship or immigration status.

Commissioner Stephanie Moore who supported the bills was quoted in the Mlive article stating:

It's more than a bill, it's a quality of life issue. It's critical that we help everyone in our community to participate fully, lead healthy lives and enjoy (the same) safety and security. A high tide raises all boats; in this case I think that's true.

How does supporting illegal activity improve the quality of life for legal Michigan residents overall and what kind of message does this send to the legal citizens of Michigan?

The Kalamazoo County Commission resolution listed several reasons why the County should support the resolution and ultimately the Michigan House of Representatives bills. They are as follows:

  1. “It states the two house bills would widen the insurance pool and lower costs for all Michigan residents due to unlicensed and uninsured drivers submitting fewer claims.”
  2. “It also asserts that it would promote public safety by ensuring drivers are trained, screened and tested. Law enforcement will be able to more efficiently and effectively identify individuals they stop.”
  3. “The resolution states the county's local economy would be bolstered by increasing mobility among workers and consumers, while increasing state revenue through vehicle registration and taxes on insurance premiums and car purchases.”

If this is true what other illegal activity would the Kalamazoo County Commission support?  Right now it is illegal for a felon in Michigan to:

  • Vote
  • Possess a Firearm or Carry a Concealed Weapon
  • Serve on a Jury
  • Own a Michigan Liquor License
  • Right to a sentence enhancement for conviction of a subsequent felony (habitual offender)
  • Felons Are Precluded from Having a Michigan Gaming (Casino) License
  • Felons Cannot Join the Military

I would have asked the Kalamazoo County Commission which of the above lost rights for felons they also want to support to reverse.

According to Commissioners Moore, Wordleman, Micheal Seals, Larry Provancher and Chair John Taylor voted for the resolution and Commissioner John Gisler, Jeff Heppler, Scott McGraw, Dale Shugars and John Tunier voted against supporting the resolution.  Commissioner Julie Rodgers is not mentioned in the article although the vote was 6 – 5 so we must assume she voted in favor of the resolution.

It was reported in the article that they Kalamazoo County Sheriff, Rick Fuller, stated in the article that:

his deputies have been involved in dangerous pursuits with individuals who when caught, have no criminal activity other than being undocumented. Fuller said unlicensed immigrants fear being deported.  I remember one chase ended in a crash. Luckily no one was hurt, but I learned there is a real fear in (their) community. I made it clear that I'd much rather help then put lives in danger.

I understand the concern of the Sheriff but does not mean we as a people should support enabling criminal activity?

The problem is the Kalamazoo County Commission and the Michigan House of Representatives supporting the bills are attempting to deal with a negative consequence of our immigration problem and not dealing with immigration reform.

Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon. To let me know your thoughts during the show please call (269) 441-9595.

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