A bill offered this week in the Iowa House of Representatives would open the door to providing temporary driver’s licenses to illegal entrants who are in possession of “consular identification documents.”
House File 305, offered yesterday by state Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines (D-Des Moines), is co-sponsored by six of her Democrat colleagues. It defines consular identification documents as “an official identification card issued by a foreign government, through the foreign government’s consular offices, for the purpose of identifying a foreign national who is living outside the foreign jurisdiction.”
In specifying the attributes a consular identification document must have, and the content it must contain, the proposed legislation appears to indicate the Matricula Consular, an ID card the government of Mexico has been giving illegals for decades. Since 2001, however, Mexico has issued more of the cards.
“Under the bill, the department of transportation may issue a temporary visitor driver’s license to a person who is otherwise qualified for a driver’s license but does not present a social security number or document of authorized presence issued by the United States citizenship and immigration services,” the bill’s explanatory statement says. “[A] temporary visitor driver’s license constitutes proof of identification to the same extent as any other driver’s license.”
While the temporary visitor’s license may not be used to vote, or to receive state assistance, the license looks like any other driver’s license of the same class. In fact, the bill expressly prohibits doing anything that would make them distinguishable from any other driver’s license.
Under HF 305, the temporary license is valid only for two years, but may be renewed repeatedly.
The Iowa Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is opposed to the bill.