Common sense legislation

In regard to “Why reward illegals” and “Licenses for people here illegally”, it would be constructive to step back and take a deep breath. Please, we need to talk about this. We can all agree that we have a broken immigration system that needs to be fixed. The 2013 bipartisan Senate legislation on immigration (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013) would have been a corrective step, but the House of Representatives at the time failed to even call for a debate or a vote on this measure.

We can agree on the fact that there are approximately fifteen thousand residents living in our state without a social security card. However, to simply say that all or most are here illegally is not true, uncharitable and, we think, it disparages the highest ideals of our country and our community. In truth, many who are here without a social security card are here legally with the status of:

• The “Dreamers” who were brought here as children and whose status is still to be determined and who have served in our military, or as teachers or first responders.

• Those here legally under Temporary Protective Status (TPS).

• Those here legally seeking asylum from political or religious persecution.

In accordance with the Real ID Act of 2005, Public Law 109-13 applicants need to provide two forms of identification such as:

(a)  An original or certified copy of the resident’s birth certificate.

(b)  The resident’s federal individual tax identification number (ITIN).

(c)  A photo identification issued by the armed forces or the New Hampshire national guard.

(d)  The resident’s medical insurance card, or documentation of medical insurance coverage, or eligibility that contains an identification number.

(e)  The resident’s selective service card.

(f)  The resident’s current or expired alien registration card, employment authorization card, temporary resident card, or any other document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

At its heart HB 397 is a public transportation safety bill and one that many other states have adopted. This legislation requires applicants to learn how to drive in accordance with our laws. It also allows them to have transportation to and from work and allows them to legally transport their children to and from school. In other words, as they work through their immigration status they are able to live, work, and pay taxes just like everyone else. It also gives law enforcement the ability to make a sure identification if needed. This license does not allow a holder to vote nor does it make any determination of their immigration status.

This is common sense legislation that will make us all safer. Please let’s not label those without a social security card as “illegal” for certainly most of them are not. To refer to them as “illegal” promotes the falsehood that these immigrants are criminals, when in truth they have jobs, love their family, pay taxes and contribute to our communities. Let’s all agree to work and vote for a more humane and fair immigration law that is true to the values of the United States.