With the Real ID Act poised to pass in Congress -- an anti-illegal immigration law that would require driver's license applicants to show no less than four forms of ID -- Jeralyn at TalkLeft points to an alternative in Tennessee that could offer states a way out.
Tennessee is one of two states that issues immigrants a driver's "certificate" regardless of their legal status. As the New York Times explains:
Tennessee is one of only two states that issue two different driver's permits: a license, for citizens and permanent residents; and a certificate for driving, primarily for those who cannot prove they are here legally. To satisfy domestic security concerns, the state has tried to forbid the certificate's use as identification. Utah also has a two-tiered system.
Given that the Real ID Act seems destined to pass, Jeralyn's point that Tennessee's law may offer a lesser-evil alternative makes sense:
Two-tiered systems like Tennessee's are discriminatory. Since the certificate is so different in appearance from a driver's license, it's a red flag - a scarlet letter. It doesn't operate as an identification card which prevents many immigrant workers from opening bank accounts. It would be better for the Senate to refuse to pass the Real ID Act this week. Since that's not likely to happen, this may be the best alternative.