Illegal immigrants in Illinois will now be given driverâ€™s licenses to allow them to drive. This makes Illinois the fourth state in the US that allows illegal immigrants to drive. This was after the House of Representatives in the state approved temporary licenses on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn expressed his intentions of signing it into law.
Other states that allow driving licenses for illegal immigrants are New Mexico and Washington State. Driverâ€™s permits are issued in Utah. It is noted that in Illinois, there are already 250,000 illegal immigrants who are driving. With the enactment of the law, drivers will already be required to take a driving test and obtain insurance. However, the government is still not sure about how many illegal immigrants would feel comfortable coming out and applying for driverâ€™s licenses.
Explaining as to why he is interested in signing it into law, Gov. Quinn says roads will be safer if drivers will know the rules of driving.
The senate also approved the proposal last December 4. The Republicans were not in favor of the said proposal but this faded when Barack Obama, a Democrat, won a re-election last November.
According to Rudy Valdez who is a member of the Rock Valley River Valley Coalition, the licenses are a good thing for the Latino community and for public safety.
However, it was explained that the licenses donâ€™t look the same as the regular driving license. Furthermore, it cannot be used for buying firearms or for registering to vote. The licenses will cost at least $30.
It is also interesting that family members of foreigners staying in Illinois on a work visa can already have temporary licenses for driving. The difference between these temporary visitorsâ€™ driving licenses and the ones for illegal immigrants is that the latter does not require a proof of permission to be in the US.
â€śThis was put through as a safety issue, and it is a safety issue. It doesnâ€™t just allow them to drive. It helps assure that theyâ€™ve taken the driving test,â€ť said Anita Casazza-Bolton of La Voz Latina.
However, in the midst of the approvals that the proposal gets, State Rep. Jil Tracy is against it saying that, â€śThere are a number of problems I have with a proposal of this nature. Our local law enforcement agencies had a number of concerns with this bill and I believe this proposal will create more problems than it solves.â€ť
Whatever comes next, the governor is ready to sign it within the week.
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