Poll: 58% support licenses for undocumented immigrants

A poll by Public Policy Polling showed 58 percent of Iowa caucusgoers support the idea of issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, which commissioned the poll, has advocated for the state to begin issuing those licenses.

“It’s encouraging to hear that the majority of Iowans support allowing all immigrants to access driver’s licenses both from a humanitarian and safety perspective,” Erica Johnson, ACLU of Iowa advocacy director, said in a statement. “Immigrants, whether they have authorization or not, are here and are driving. That’s because in a state like Iowa that is rural with harsh winters, they often have little option other than to drive in order to get to school, to buy food, or to get to doctors and churches. Making sure they are tested on the rules of the road and have insurance simply makes sense and helps everyone.”

Rep. John Kooiker, R-Boyden, introduced a bill in the House that would authorize the state to begin issuing those licenses. However, it was introduced after a legislative deadline known as "funnel week," and House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Josh Byrnes, R-Osage, said it will not advance this session.

PPP surveyed 506 Iowa caucusgoers Feb. 16 and 17. The margin of error is 4 percent.

 Brianne Pfannenstiel, bpfannenst@dmreg.com 4:30 p.m. CST February 25, 2016