From: Pastors Corrine Haulotte, Kathy Redig and Robert Hicks
The Minnesota House voted to pass a bill that would allow driver’s licenses for all Minnesotans, including undocumented immigrants. The Winona City Council passed a resolution in favor of the bill on April 15. The Driver’s Licenses for All Bill is intended to be bipartisan and has some bipartisan support (the State Chamber of Commerce, some law enforcement officers, many farmers). Its aim is to create a safer Minnesota for all by allowing people to open a bank account, drive safely on the road, and restore the right for immigrants to obtain a license in Minnesota pending the ability to pass the driver’s test and buy insurance, as was allowed prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
As Christian pastors, we are familiar with the story of an immigrant family who had to flee for their lives some 2,000 years ago in Egypt. That is, we know the story of Jesus of Nazareth. For us, it is not enough to simply know and tell the story. Rather, we believe we must try to live our faith, which instructs us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength; extend hospitality to strangers; do justice; show love, mercy and kindness; walk humbly with God; not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and to love the stranger.
We are not ones to throw verses from our Holy Scriptures at people, and we do not intend to do that now. Rather, we seek guidance on this journey of life, particularly when the road is hard. We seek wisdom in discerning a way forward with all of us. We seek grace in the midst of so much uncertainty. One thing of which we are certain is the importance of immigrants to this state and that every human being is sacred.
As Minnesotans, we are asking our state senators to consider this bill. Senator Miller, you, in particular, have an opportunity to show us that you are capable of and willing to lead in a moderate bipartisan way.