House Committee OKs Immigrant Driver’s Licenses

By Brian Mackey

Drivers licenses for immigrants who are in Illinois illegally moved a step closer to passage on Monday morning. Backers say there are an estimated 250,000 immigrants driving around Illinois without a driver’s license.

After the measure was approved by a House panel, State Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago) spoke surrounded by people who had come to support the legislation in the Capitol.

“Today is a small victory, but either this evening or tomorrow, we will make history,” Acevedo said.

The measure requires immigrants to obtain liability insurance in order for the license to be valid.

They would have to take driver’s tests, prove Illinois residency and have a picture taken for a state database.

The visitor licenses would have a purple banner declaring that they’re not a form of identification, so that they cannot be used to purchase firearms or board an airplane.

Some House Republicans expressed worry Monday about potential for fraud.

The measure now goes to the full House. It already passed the Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn says he supports it.

Washington and New Mexico currently allow illegal immigrants to get licenses.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio