As debate continues around the United States about what should or shouldn’t be done to protect the southern border, another debate is playing out locally — the proposal for Wisconsin driver’s licenses for people here illegally.
If the law changed to allow people here illegally to get driver’s licenses, an estimated 32,000 people in Wisconsin would be able to do so, according to a report by Kids Forward, a left-leaning research organization. That is a lot of people.
In recent weeks, the Racine Unified School Board and the city’s Affirmative Action and Human Rights Commission met to discuss resolutions supporting law changes that would allow driver’s licenses for people here illegally.
As this discussion has been taking place, there has been a glaring issue — a shortage of public notice.
On Dec. 3, when the Unified School Board resolution to support driver’s licenses for undocumented residents was first presented to board members, not all board members were prepared because the proposal wasn’t actually on the published agenda. In addition to board members not having time to digest the proposal, the public also wasn’t notified.
But three members of the public were there to speak in support of the resolution.
Does that mean everyone is in support? Or does that mean, for some reason, board members proposing the resolution told their supporters but didn’t let others know? The second seems more probable.
Our country and our county remain much divided. While Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, won the Nov. 6 election, here in Racine County incumbent Republican Scott Walker received 44,770 votes to Evers’ 40,498 votes. When discussing issues such as drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, both sides should be presented and discussed thoroughly.
One of the reasons cited for such driver’s licenses was to reduce absenteeism at school.
School Board Vice President Michael Frontier said at the Dec. 3 meeting: “Even The Journal Times encouraged us to move forward on addressing attendance issues.”
Yes, we published an editorial in November encouraging the district to deal with its absenteeism issues, but we’re not sold that driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is the solution. Since this is a state and federal issue, the School Board should focus on what it has the power to do.
When the topic of driver’s licenses comes up at the state level — and it should, to address the number of suspended licenses — all aspects should be discussed, and all sides should be given a chance to speak.