Does Allowing Undocumented Workers To Drive Increase Productivity?
Last year, the Idaho Legislature considered a bill that would allow folks in the country without documentation to get a driver's license. This year a report was issued on Friday that researched the impact of allowing undocumented workers to drive, reports the Idaho Press. Several states around Idaho enable workers who are in the country illegally to operate without being a citizen.
Nevada, Utah, and Washington allow workers to drive with a license without being a citizen or other immigration permits. Published reports say Oregon could move in that direction soon. Proponents of possible Idaho legislation say that allowing these workers access to limit driving privileges improves their productivity.
Powerful industries say that undocumented workers are crucial to their ability to stay in business. The report references statistics indicating that drivers who have training reduce the number of accidents on the road.
Immigration was a major policy win for the Trump Administration. The Biden Administration says it will finally work with Congress to pass genuine immigration reform. Immigration is an especially tough topic for a conservative yet agrarian state like Idaho. Farmers have used migrant workers for years, but a tougher stance on the country's entrance limits the labor pool. Without the workers, the farms cannot produce the goods.
This year, there is no plan for the Idaho Legislature to introduce a bill that would spark debate on who drives and who doesn't drive in the Gem State. However, if last year's reaction is an indicator of how Idahoans feel about allowing undocumented workers to drive with a license, I'd bet the farm it will not be happening shortly or at all.
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