DACA recipient to Minnesota lawmakers: ‘We are voting’

“Deferred action does not provide lawful status,” according to the United States government. Only U.S. citizens can vote in Minnesota. 

DACA recipient
Angelico Bello testifies in favor of a bill to provide illegal immigrants with driver's licenses. (MN House Info/YouTube)

A DACA recipient had this to say to Minnesota lawmakers last week: “We are voting.”

“We are voting. Our people are voting. If you don’t pass this bill, people are going to vote you all out,” Angelico Bello, who said she is a DACA recipient, told the House Transportation Committee Jan. 10.

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is an Obama-era rule that protects its recipients from deportation for renewable, two-year periods.

“Deferred action does not provide lawful status,” according to the United States government. Only U.S. citizens can vote in Minnesota.

Bello was testifying in favor of a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

“A driver’s license is really important because sometimes when you don’t have a car, when you don’t have a mode of transportation, you’re pushed to do certain things to get income. In the case of my mother, my mom had to use her body as a source of income,” she said.

“Know your humanity and know that you are all in these chairs because of us,” she continued. “Please be of service or else we’re going to come and take your seats as well.”

Republicans on the committee expressed concern that the “driver’s licenses for all” legislation would make it easier for people to vote illegally. They proposed an amendment that would have required licenses issued to illegal immigrants to include a “not voting” label. The amendment was rejected.

Democrats argued that there are already “lifelong, permanent immigration consequences” for immigrants who vote illegally.

Illegal immigrants were eligible for driver’s licenses in Minnesota until 2003, when Gov. Tim Pawlenty established a requirement that applicants demonstrate proof of legal residence.

Democrats are also pushing a bill to bring automatic voter registration to Minnesota, which means those who apply for a driver’s license or other state benefits can be eligible to register to vote at the same time.

However, the bill clarifies that automatic voter registration is limited to those with “documentation or verification of United States citizenship” or to cases where “records reflect that the applicant provided proof of citizenship during a previous agency transaction.”

 

Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and reported for The Daily Caller.