Illinois plans to give illegal immigrants driver's license if Illinois's new Democratic super-majority has anything to say about it. Illinois politicians announced on Tuesday they would propose such a law when the Illinois legislature convenes on November 27. Defenders of the idea claim the law would be good for public safety, allowing Illinois' illegal immigrant motorists to undergo drivers testing and buy insurance.
"When you have a quarter of a million undocumented drivers on the road, it's definitely a safety concern," said Ron Holmes, spokesman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, according to NBC. The insurance angle is a big issue for the newly elected Democratic super-majority because unlicensed, uninsured drivers are involved in almost 80,000 accidents in Illinois each year. According to the Illinois Highway Safety Coalition, these accidents result in $660 million in damage, with unlicensed illegal immigrant drivers costing $64 million in damage claims.
Other states like Washington state and New Mexico allow illegal immigrants to legally drive but Illinois would become the most populous U.S. state to grant a form of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Utah allows driving permits. On January 1, 2013, a California law will take effect that allows legal immigrants with federal work permits to receive driver's licenses.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) has fought to outlaw giving licenses to illegal immigrants since she took office last year. She has argued that the state's law encouraged people to come to New Mexico from other states just to obtain driver's licenses, which is fraudulent.
According to officials, the Illinois law is intended to make certain an Illinois driver's license for undocumented illegal immigrants would not be used for fraud across state lines. Ron Holmes claims they are working with law enforcement officials to ensure this ideal is enforced.
What do you think about states like Illinois giving illegal immigrants drivers licenses? Do you think it is a good idea or that Illinois and the Federal government should be sicking La Immigre on those entering the country illegally?