Starting in October, nearly 81,000 undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for a driver’s license in the state of Minnesota, United States.
“We will begin accepting driver’s license applications for all Minnesotans, including those without a legal presence in the United States,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Pong Xiong in a press conference reported by CNN.
Xiong said the important thing is to have a driver’s license and what it means to be able to access all the resources of Minnesota, “from employment to health care and taking advantage of all the natural resources that Minnesota has to offer,” he said.
The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Waltz signed a bill in March that allows for the expansion of driver’s license applications, according to a statement from his office.
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“With approximately 81,000 undocumented immigrants in Minnesota, the bill would increase safety in the state by ensuring that all drivers are licensed, insured, and take driver’s education courses,” detailed in March document.
“The program ensures that our children and families can escape from the shadows and that all Minnesotans have opportunities to thrive, succeed, grow and live their lives to the fullest in our state,” Walz said.
The hard data
Minnesota has more undocumented immigrants than half the numbers reported by other individual states and Washington. According to data from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the majority of undocumented immigrants are from Mexico and Central America.