Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate and His Support of HF 1500: Driver’s Licenses for Non-Licensed Illegal Immigrants
After reading Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate’s April 2 letter to State Rep. Ryan Winkler in support of H.F. 1500 on Rep. Brad Tabke’s Twitter feed, I was disappointed and outraged!
In it, Chief Tate claims that giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses will make the roads safer and mentions a study from Stanford University. The study titled, “Providing driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants in California improves traffic safety” was a short-term study that only examined data from 2015.
That was the year the law (Assembly Bill 60, or AB60) granting illegal immigrants driver’s licenses went into effect in California. The Stanford study claimed the total number of accidents and fatalities did not increase in 2015, but hit-and-run accidents were reduced by 7-10%, or about 4,000.
On the other hand, a 2017 National Safety Council report shows motor vehicle-related deaths in California increased 10% from 2015 to 2017. If data from 2018 is included, those deaths increase to 12%. The reason for the differences between these results and the Stanford study is methodology.
Chief Tate continued, “Many of our non-licensed immigrant drivers work at area businesses… ” Is Chief Tate aware that it’s against federal law to employ illegal immigrants (8 U.S. Code § 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens) and is he suggesting it’s OK for the employers of Shakopee to break federal law by employing illegal immigrants?
Is he also aware it’s against federal law for illegal immigrants to use false identification documents, or to misuse real ones, for the purpose of satisfying employment verification (18 U.S.C. § 1546. Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents)? I’m surprised that a law enforcement officer would support both breaking federal law and H.F. 1500. By supporting H.F. 1500, Chief Tate is implying that Shakopee is a “sanctuary city.” Does the mayor and city council support H.F. 1500? Is Shakopee now a sanctuary city?
There was one amusing thing though. In the last paragraph, Chief Tate recommends that Winkler support H.F. 1500. Of course, Winkler is going to support it, he’s the chief author of the bill!! Or did Chief Tate think that a co-sponsor of the bill, Tabke, was actually the chief author?
H.F. 1500 is the beginning of a classic “slippery slope” and the next step will be to allow illegal immigrants a vote in local elections. The states of New York, California, Massachusetts and Maryland already allow illegal immigrants to vote in school board elections. Where will this end?
Finally, for those of us opposed to H.F. 1500, we must organize and mobilize like the proponents of this legislation. We’re up against statewide coalitions of non-profit organizations, unions, immigrants’ rights advocates, community-based groups and collectives, faith-based organizations, workers’ rights advocates and many others. Some may be members of the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce, which Tabke once chaired.