(Here's Part I)
I wrote to Representative Gatschenberger protesting his bill and received this reply from his legislative assissant.
Mr. Keeling… Representative Gatschenberger wants to assure you that
his target was illegals, not people that are contributing to our
society. Fortunately, our system of law making allows for review of
legislation before it is voted into law. This is a perfect example of
legislation that ends up with "unintended" consequences because of the
way it was drafted. This legislation will not go anywhere this year…
but he is glad to have it "out there" to receive the kinds of comments
you were kind enough to take the time to send to him. He really
appreciates your input.
Representative Chuck Gatschenberger
Hmmmmmm…. Here's a quote from the bill as written as submitted for debate:
302.171. 1. The director shall verify that an applicant for a driver's license is a Missouri resident [or national of the United States or a noncitizen with a lawful immigration status, and a Missouri resident] and a United States citizen before accepting the application. Notwithstanding any other law, the director shall not issue a driver's license [for a period that exceeds the duration of an applicant's lawful immigration status in the United States] to any person who is not a United States citizen.
Perhaps I am a little slow, but this doesn't exactly seem to be the 'unintended' consequence referred to above… It seems perfectly clearly drafted to me to exclude anyone except a U.S. citizen. Perhaps they need a writing tutor…
The curious thing to me is that illegal immigrants are already prohibited from getting a Missouri driving license – so why introduce this at all if it is targeted at illegals? Democracy is an intriguing form of government (but still beats all the alternatives!). At least I can rest easy about my own Missouri driving license.