This morning’s hearing on driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants—-a proposal introduced last month by Mayor Vince Gray—-normally wouldn’t be a contentious one. It’s got the mayor’s support, and no councilmembers have voiced public opposition to it. But there’s a catch: the stamp.
Under Gray’s bill, the driver’s licenses for immigrants would be identical to legal residents’, except for a stamp noting that the ID can’t be used as a federal ID. It’s an attempt to avoid violating the federal REAL ID Act, and would make the licenses useless for getting into federal buildings or boarding airplanes. But activists—-and Councilmembers David Grosso and Jim Graham, speaking at a rally in front of the Wilson Building today—-say it would lead to profiling against immigrants with the altered licenses.
Graham predicted strong opposition to the stamp in the Council, but didn’t say who else would join him. “I don’t want people wearing armbands or patches, saying ‘I’m undocumented,'” he said, right after posing with the colorful license above.
Photo by Will Sommer