As our editorial today states, the local Hispanics upset about a new driver’s license renewal requirement did themselves no favors by shouting at and calling Revenue Secretary Joan Wagnon a liar at a Wichita meeting last weekend. They came off as noncitizens demanding rights to which they are not legally entitled. Plus, the residents’ beef is mostly with Congress and the federal immigration boondoggle, not with Wagnon or state lawmakers.
That said, the residents’ plight is real and difficult. Many have visas and are in the process of attaining legal status, but they lack Social Security numbers and proof of citizenship. Some of them have had Kansas driver’s licenses for years. But early this year, the state, as part of the federal Real ID Act, stopped accepting license holders’ affidavits stating that they are legal residents. So suddenly, it’s unlawful for them to drive — something of a necessity in transit-challenged Wichita. The result is that we’re likely to have more people driving without licenses and insurance.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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