The Illinois State Senate voted to allow temporary drivers licenses to illegal immigrants on Tuesday. The bill was sent to the house for review. If the bill becomes law, Illinois will be the most populous state in America to allow drivers licenses for people who are in the country illegally, according to Reuters.
The proposed legislation would allow illegal residents to get tested for a drivers license and buy insurance without fear of deportation. The state issued card would allegedly not be permitted to be used as a form of voter identification or for boarding a plane. Supporters of the bill claim the new law would save money and enhance safety, according to CBS Chicago. Opponents of the bill are reportedly urging the federal government to address the matter of comprehensive immigration reform.
Currently both New Mexico and Washington state allow illegal aliens to have drivers licenses. Utah offers driving permits to illegal immigrants. According to the 2010 Census, Illinois has approximately two million Hispanic residents. State officials estimate that there are currently 250,000 illegal residents calling Illinois home.
The bill to grant drivers licenses to illegal residents passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 41 to 14. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has not yet publicly offered his position on the pending legislation. Republican leaders reportedly offered their support for the bill, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Hispanic vote in Illinois went overwhelmingly Democratic in the last election.
Should a person who committed a crime by entering America illegally be allowed to obtain a drivers license?