Gov. Quinn Signs Immigrant License Legislation
By The Associated Press, with additional reporting from Tony Arnold
Illinois is the fourth state to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license with a new law signed by the governor.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Sunday surrounded by hundreds of supporters who say the measure will make Illinois' roads safer and expand opportunities for immigrants.
Quinn says people need a way to get to work, drive to the doctor and drive their children to school.
“Driving means taking responsibility for your safety and the safety of others on the road,” Quinn said, in a press release. “Despite the stalemate on immigration reform in Washington D.C., Illinois is moving forward. This common sense law will help everybody, regardless of their background, learn the rules of the road, pass a driving test and get insurance. As a result, our roads will be safer, we will create more access to job opportunities and our economic growth will be strengthened.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new law should serve as a model for the nation.
New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Utah issues permits. Illinois officials say the dissemination of the temporary licenses is expected to begin in October.
The legislation was billed as a public safety measure and had bipartisan support.