Thursday, February 7, 2008
While most Presidential candidates try to duck-and-cover on the issue, driver's licenses for immigrants continue to cause big problems on the ground level.The Inside Higher Education reports that the battle over driver’s licenses for undocumentedimmigrants has complicated life in Michigan for foreign students with visas, i.e., noncitizens lawfully in the United States. An opinion by Michigan’s attorney general prompted the secretary of state to stop issuing new licenses to temporary residents as well as undocumented immigrants. The former group includes people on student visas. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s interpretation of the opinion prompted an immediate outcry from businesses and universities concerned that the law had snagged international students and workers residing on temporary but legal visas. The result is that thousands of Michigan’s students from foreign countries have potentially been left without the right to obtain a license, disproportionately affecting graduate students who live off-campus and rely on cars to travel to and from class.
The law of unintended consequences at work again?